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Monuments and Memory, Made and Unmade

How do some monuments become so socially powerful that people seek to destroy them? After ignoring monuments for years, why must we now commemorate public trauma, but not triumph, with a monument? To explore these and other questions, Robert S. Nelson and Margaret Olin assembled essays from leading scholars about how monuments have functioned throughout the world and how globalization has challenged Western notions of the "monument."

Examining how monuments preserve memory, these essays demonstrate how phenomena as diverse as ancient drum towers in China and ritual whale-killings in the Pacific Northwest serve to represent and negotiate time. Connecting that history to the present with an epilogue on the World Trade Center, Monuments and Memory, Made and Unmade is pertinent not only for art historians but for anyone interested in the turbulent history of monuments—a history that is still very much with us today.

Stephen Bann, Jonathan Bordo, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jas Elsner, Tapati Guha-Thakurta, Robert S. Nelson, Margaret Olin, Ruth B. Phillips, Mitchell Schwarzer, Lillian Lan-ying Tseng, Richard Wittman, Wu Hung

353 pages | 83 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2003

Art: Art Criticism, Art--General Studies

Culture Studies

History: History of Ideas


"Nelson and Olin have collected an extraordinarily eclectic range of papers—on everything from early modern travel journals to the markers of nuclear waste sites, from nationalist conflicts in India to Roland Barthes and the temporality of photography.”

Charles Barbour | Canadian Literature

Monuments and Memory, Made and Unmade is a provocative collection of essays that explore the social meaning and cultural function of images. As many of the authors testify, monuments do not reflect their past so much as they work to create memory in the present. Particularly valuable and timely is Nelson’s and Olin’s inclusion of studies that analyze the significance of monuments, sometimes destroyed, in different cultures."

Michael Ann Holly, author of The Subjects of Art History: Historical Objects

“Nelson and Olin have brought together a rich group of essays of exceedingly high quality. There are many books on monuments and memory, but no other book probes the notion of the monument in the exhaustive way this book does. None has a comparable chronological, global, and imaginative range, or its intellectual and methodological diversity.”

Michele H. Bogart, author of Public Sculpture and the Civic Ideal in New York

Table of Contents

I - Travel
1. Scaling the Cathedral: Bourges in John Bargrave’s Travel Journal for 1645
Stephen Bann
2. Retrieving the Past, Inventing the Memorable: Huang Yi’s Visit to the Song-Luo Monuments
Lillian Lan-ying Tseng
3. Tourists, Terrorists, and Metaphysical Theater at Hagia Sophia
Robert S. Nelson
4. The Moving Landscape
Mitchell Schwarzer
II - Time
5. Monumentality of Time: Giant Clocks, the Drum Tower, the Clock Tower
Wu Hung
6. The Winter Garden and Virtual Heaven
Margaret Olin
7. The Keeping Place (Arising from an Incident on the Land)
Jonathan Bordo
8. Building a Marker of Nuclear Warning
Julia Bryan-Wilson
III Destruction - Reconstruction
9. Iconoclasm and the Preservation of Memory
Jas Elsner
10. Archaeology and the Monument: An Embattled Site of History and Memory in Contemporary India
Tapati Guha-Thakurta
11. Local Memory and National Aesthetics: Jean Pagès’s Early-Eighteenth-Century Description of the "Incomparable" Cathedral of Amiens
Richard K. Wittman
12. Settler Monuments, Indigenous Memory: Dis-membering and Re-membering Canadian Art History
Ruth B. Phillips
Epilogue. The Rhetoric of Monuments: The World Trade Center
List of Contributors

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