Memorials to Shattered Myths (Paperback)
Vietnam to 9/11
Oxford University Press, USA, 9780190248406, 272pp.
Publication Date: January 4, 2016
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Memorials to Shattered Myths: Vietnam to 9/11 traces the evolution and consequences of a new hybrid paradigm, which grants a heroic status to victims of national tragedies, and by extension to their families, thereby creating a class of privileged participants in the permanent memorial process. Harriet F. Senie suggests that instead the victims' families be able to determine the nature of an interim memorial, one that addresses their needs in the critical time between the murder of their loved ones and the completion of the permanent memorial. She also observes that the memorials discussed herein are inadvertently based on strategies of diversion and denial that direct our attention away from actual events, and reframe tragedy as secular or religious triumph. In doing so, they camouflage history, and seen as an aggregate, they define a nation of victims, exactly the concept they and their accompanying celebratory narratives were apparently created to obscure.
About the Author
Harriet F. Senie is Director of the M.A. Program in Art History and Art Museum Studies at City College, City University of New York, and also teaches at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of several books and numerous articles on public art, and is co-founder of the international organization Public Art Dialogue and co-editor of its journal, Public Art Dialogue.