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Memories, Myths, and Monuments: Confronting National Narratives

Composite Image of the Beaumont and the Bismarck Monument

Composite Image of the Beaumont and the Bismarck Monument, © Confederate Monument, Wiess Park, Beaumont, Texas by Patrick Feller, and the Bismarck monument in Hamburg by SKopp

10.09.2020 - Article

This panel on September 22, 3p.m., will reflect on how countries can reckon with racist histories of colonialism, slavery, and white supremacy within their own national narratives, and how these manifest in public spaces.

Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a conversation on “Memories, Myths, and Monuments: Confronting National Narratives” among Peniel Joseph (University of Texas in Austin), Susan Neiman (Einstein Forum), Jürgen Zimmerer (University of Hamburg), and Atina Grossmann (The Cooper Union). 

About the panel

This virtual conversation will bring together historians, philosophers, and public intellectuals from both the United States and Germany to reflect on how countries can reckon with racist histories of colonialism, slavery, and white supremacy within their own national narratives, and how these manifest in public spaces. The ongoing efforts to remove Confederate monuments and symbols in the U.S. and to rename streets and remove monuments that commemorate a brutal colonial legacy in Germany demonstrate the important role these symbols play in promoting manipulated historical narratives that omit or gloss over the continued oppression of BIPOC and inadvertently reproduce existing power-structures.

The panel will address which symbols from our past must be de- or re-contextualized, and which ought to be removed. How might we go about building a historical awareness in the public sphere that takes into account  historical omissions, distortions, simplifications, and parallel narratives that benefit hegemonic narratives? How do we move forward in these efforts?


Location & Time

Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 3:00pm–5:00 pm

To RSVP for this event, please click here. Registration is (as always) free and open to the general public. Only registered attendees will receive Zoom webinar information via email prior to the event.


“Memories, Myths, and Monuments: Confronting National Narratives” is funded by the DAAD from funds of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).

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