Mourning Again in America: Memorial Day, Monuments, and the Politics of Remembrance Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Britt, Lucy
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • The subjects and modes of mourning undertaken in public are consequential for past and continuing injustices because they indicate what a society cares about remembering and how. Holidays and monuments, as expressions of civil religion, affect how citizens read their history by rejecting or legitimating state violence and war in the future. Counter-narratives such as those from oppressed groups often emerge to challenge dominant narratives of civil religion. Close readers of civil religious ceremonies and markers such as Memorial Day and Confederate memorials should undertake a critical examination of the symbols’ historical meanings. I propose a politics of mourning that leverages the legal doctrine of government speech to reject impartiality and construct a public sphere in which different narratives of history are acknowledged but not all are endorsed.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Lienesch, Michael
  • Bickford, Susan
  • Spinner-Halev, Jeff
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017

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