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Taking Down the Monuments: The Future of the Past in Durham and Baltimore

September 5th, 2017
12:00 PM



FSP | Taking Down the Monuments: The Future of the Past in Durham and BaltimoreUPDATE: The Duke Chronicle published a story about this panel, written by Nathan Luzum, in the Sept. 9, 2017 issue.

And Duke Today also featured the panel discussion on their website.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Forum for Scholars and Publics
011 Old Chem
Duke's West Campus Quad

A light lunch will be served.

What is the history behind the Confederate monuments that have recently come down in Baltimore and Durham? How and why did they come down? And what should be done with the empty pedestals and the spaces around them in order to offer a different kind of historical memory?

Join us for a conversation with historians Martha Jones and Blair Kelley and journalist David Graham about history, memory, and politics in Baltimore, Durham, and beyond. Discussion moderated by Robin Kirk.

Sponsored by the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

Photo Credit: Allen Breed/AP.

Martha Jones

Johns Hopkins University

Martha S. Jones is the The Society of Black Alumni Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. Her scholarly interests include the histories of race, citizenship, and slavery. Professor Jones is the author of the critically acclaimed All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, 1830-1900 (UNC Press, 2007). Her current projects include two books: Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America and Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women. In 2013-2014, her work was supported by the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Humanities Center, where she was the William C. and Ida Friday Fellow. Her writings have appeared on, and she tweets @marthasjones_.

Blair Kelley

Department of History, North Carolina State University

Blair L.M. Kelley is Associate Professor of History and Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and International Programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at North Carolina State University. She is the author of the award-winning book, Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson. Right to Ride won the 2010 Letitia Woods Brown Best Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians. Kelley produces and hosts a podcast called Historical Blackness and her written work was featured on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry Show, NPR’s Here and Now, and WUNC’s The State of Things. She has written for,,,, and Jet Magazine. She tweets @profblmkelley.

David A. Graham

The Atlantic

David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers U.S. politics and global news. Graham previously edited The Atlantic's politics section and has reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Robin Kirk

Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute

Robin Kirk is the Faculty Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute and is a founding member of the Pauli Murray Project. An author and human rights advocate, Kirk directed the Belfast program for DukeEngage in partnership with Healing Through Remembering, an extensive cross-community project dealing with the legacy of past conflict and human rights. She is a lecturer in the Department of Cultural Anthropology. In 2016-2017, she directed a Bass Connections project with undergraduates called Constructing Memory at Duke, which examined how the university embodies its past. A report on its conclusions and recommendations will be released in 2018. Kirk has also written three books, including More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs and America’s War in Colombia (PublicAffairs) and The Monkey’s Paw: New Chronicles from Peru (University of Massachusetts Press). She is a coeditor of The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke University) and coedits Duke University Press’s World Readers seriesAn essayist and award-winning poet, she has published widely on issues as diverse as the Andes, torture, the politics of memory, family life, and pop culture.