"Monument City": The Socio-Spatial Violence of Baltimore’s Confederate Monuments

Author(s): C. Lorin Brace VI

Year: 2021


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Archaeology of Urban Dissonance: Violence, Friction, and Change" , at the 2021 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

As monuments celebrating the Confederacy have come down in cities across the country in recent months, following the protests sparked by the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and numerous other Black Americans, debates have raged over the country’s legacies of slavery and racism. Some argue that the removal or destruction of Confederate monuments amounts to an “erasure of history” itself. However, by glorifying and romanticizing the “Lost Cause” of the Confederacy, such monuments actually enable oppression by erasing or distorting the horrors and injustices of slavery and Jim Crow. Permanent monuments create an appearance of spatial permanence and fixity, which legitimizes and naturalizes white supremacist ideologies while imprinting racialized conceptions of space onto the landscape. Focusing on four monuments in Baltimore, this paper examines the ways in which Confederate monuments in public spaces act as a form of socio-spatial violence, and explores how such spaces might be reclaimed.

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"Monument City": The Socio-Spatial Violence of Baltimore’s Confederate Monuments. C. Lorin Brace VI. 2021 ( tDAR id: 459234)


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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology