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Voices, Visions, and Public Memories

This exhibit is a project by students in the Spring 2018 course Troubling Memory: Rhetoric and Public Memory[ies]. Throughout the semester, we followed contemporary news about the development and revision of public memory spaces. From public discussion of removing Confederate memorials and monuments to the opening of the Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama; from Yosemite to ghost bike memorials and the New York Times new obituary feature Overlooked, and from Mississippi's 1917 Monument to the Women of the Confederacy to the opening of its Civil Rights Museum, we asked questions: Who gets to speak? Who does not? What do we see? What is hidden from view? How do we remember? And what avenues do we have to shape public memory?

We connected these contemporary discussions of voice, vision, and public memories to theories of and practice with archival research, eventually selecting our own artifacts and topics to study in greater depth.

Each discussion and artifact challenged us to consider what we might learn about rhetorical history, along with local, institutional, regional, and national histories, and how those histories continue to be relevant in the contemporary moment. 

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