An urgent and fractious national debate over public monuments has erupted in America. Some people risk imprisonment to tear down long-ignored hunks of marble; others form armed patrols to defend them. Why do we care so much about statues? And who gets to decide which ones should stay up and which should come down?
Join us for a conversation with Barnard alumna Erin Thompson, the country’s leading expert in the tangled aesthetic, legal, political, and social issues involved in such battles to discuss all that protesting statues entails and to discuss her book, Smashing Statues, in which she traces the turbulent history of American monuments and its abundant ironies, starting with the enslaved man who helped make the statue of Freedom atop the US Capitol, to exploring the surprising motivations behind such contemporary flashpoints as the toppling of a statue of Columbus at the Minnesota State Capitol. Written with great verve and thoroughly researched, Smashing Statues gives readers the context they need to consider the fundamental question: Whose voices must be heard and whose pain must remain private?
Copies of Erin's book Smashing Statues will be distributed to the first 20 Barnard student attendees.
Funding for SPARK is provided by the Harnisch Foundation.
Barnard College provides reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. If you need individual disability-related accommodations for this event in order to be able to attend, we encourage you to inform us in advance in order for us to accommodate you. Possible accommodations can include real-time captioning, ASL interpretation, Braille handouts, wheelchair accessibility and more. Specific individual requests can be made via our department's email: email@example.com or by filling out the Event Accessibility Request Form.