Renée Ater, Falling and Rising: Public Monuments & Cultural Heritage in a Time of Protest
Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past
In Episode 3 of “Falling and Rising”, Dr. Benjamin Lima, Editor of the Athenaeum Review, interviews public scholar Dr. Renée Ater on the shifting views towards artists building monuments, tension in messages that monuments deliver, and the impact of community and civic engagement with monuments in local and other sharable spaces.
Dr. Renée Ater is a public scholar who works at the intersection of art and history, and the founder of Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past, which has been supported by fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the Getty Research Institute, and the NEH-Mellon Foundation. For academic year 2020-2021, she is the Provost Visiting Associate Professor in Africana Studies at Brown University, and she is Associate Professor Emerita of American Art in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Her research and writing concern race, monument building, and national identity. She is the author of numerous articles and two monographs: Keith Morrison and Remaking Race and History: The Sculpture of Meta Warrick Fuller. She has written numerous essays on a wide range of public monuments including the Unsung Founders Memorial at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, DC; the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Rocky Mount, North Carolina; the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Tuskegee, Alabama; the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama; and the Boston Massacre/ Crispus Attucks Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts.
"The National Memorial for Peace and Justice." Smarthistory (March 18, 2019).
"Performing an Act of Justice Too Long Delayed: History, Commemoration, and the Boston Massacre/ Crispus Attucks Monument." In La Sculpture Triomphante: 1850-1880 (Fine Arts Paris, 2018).
"Bully Pulpit: National Memorial for Peace and Justice." Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art (Spring 2018).
“History and Civil Rights at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site.” American Studies Journal (2015).
“Commemorating Black Soldiers: The African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C.” In Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ “Shaw Memorial (National Gallery of Art, 2013).
“The Challenge of Memorializing Slavery in North Carolina: The Unsung Founders Memorial and the North Carolina Freedom Monument Project.” In Politics of Memory: Making Slavery Visible in the Public Space (Routledge, 2012).
This lecture is a part of Falling and Rising: Public Monuments & Cultural Heritage in a Time of Protest, a series of interviews produced by the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and "The Athenaeum Review" at the University of Texas at Dallas with art historians, historians, artists, and archaeologists that examine the current cultural moment of renewed attention to the role of public art.