Commemorative Cultures: A University of St Andrews Project

Inspired by the questions that confronted nineteenth-century U.S. citizens in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, this project uncovers the social and cultural history of monuments and acknowledges their transformative force.

We endorse a creative but critical engagement with American Civil War Monuments. We acknowledge that many monuments, particularly those honoring the Confederacy, inflict harm and promote white supremacy in public space.

Our goal is not to perpetuate the inequities and power relations that these monuments represent in material form, but to reckon with and question their assertion of permanence.

This site offers a starting point for learning and participation. Our objective is to document diverse forms of commemorative expression relating to the civil war, and to identify significant patterns in the monumental landscape. We invite visitors to engage with the monument map and the educational materials provided, but also to participate in helping us develop a comprehensive and complex picture of Civil War monuments in the United States and further afield.

To find out more about the project, its rationale, and its aims, watch Dr Kristen Treen’s recent talk: