Tentative* Daily Schedule
*Please note that there may be some changes to what is listed here.
This workshop is based around the collective memories that circulate regarding the Civil War. Situated in Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy, we will be using this workshop to look in depth at several collective memories and whose ideas are represented or excluded from the various collective memories.
Each day we will have morning and afternoon sessions that will involve site visits, historians, artists, art historians, and other experts on collective memory, the Civil War, and how memories are made visible in works of art. As a focus point for each day, we will have a ‘daily question’ that organizes the content. Because we will be working together to create a collective multimedia resource, teachers are encouraged to document the sites we visit.
Participants will arrive in the afternoon and check in to the dorm facility. This evening we will have an orientation and reception.
Monday Daily Questions – What are collective memories?
The first full workshop day will start on VCU’s campus with an introduction and some questions about the Civil War. Following this, we will have a lecture about collective memories of the Civil War by Dr. Gary Gallagher, faculty member at the University of Virginia. After the initial lecture, teachers will brainstorm and explore places in their curriculum, in their lives, and in their communities where they can identify elements of collective memories. We will break for lunch following the morning discussions.
In the afternoon, we will travel to the American Civil War Museum Museum of the Confederacy Richmond site. Here we will break into two groups and one will tour the White House of the Confederacy while the other tours the Museum of the Confederacy site. Then the two groups will switch so all participants see both sites. At these sites we will focus on the objects in the collections that relate to the Lost Cause collective memory. Upon returning to our VCU classroom, Dr. Gabriel Reich, VCU, will give a lecture about how collective memories circulate in curriculum documents, focusing on both the Lost Cause and the Nationalist Freedom Quest. In his talk, he will highlight how groups construct collective memories to reinforce their power and ideologies and make them seem natural to others. Using images and examples from these collective memories, Reich will emphasize how pervasive collective memories are. Teachers will work in groups to identify curriculum connections between what they learned about collective memories and what and how they already teach. Teachers will begin brainstorming about the curriculum resource they will be creating.
Tuesday Daily Question – Whose stories do collective memories exclude?
Tuesday morning will start with a lecture by Dr. Cassandra-Newby Alexander that will focus on the role of African-Americans during and after the Civil War. She will explore their lives in Virginia and address the realities of slavery, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era. Following this lecture, Dr. Kay Wright Lewis will lead a lecture on the roles that women held before, during, and after the Civil War. We will have a discussion involving both speakers that addresses the lived realities of the many people whose lives and stories are excluded from the prevailing collective memories of the Civil War. We will focus on thinking about how we, as teachers, can address these historical oversights and present our students with more nuanced stories that relate to a wider group of people.
Following lunch, we will travel to by private bus to the VHS, passing by the monuments on Monument Avenue. At the VHS we will have a private viewing of textbooks in their collection that showcase the Lost Cause. Further, educators Evan Liddiard and Bill Obrochta will lead a tour their permanent collection, focusing on the era immediately after the Civil War until the Civil Rights movement. While at the VHS, we will view and discuss the Memorial Military Murals by Charles Hoffbauer, painted from 1913-1920 that present a Lost Cause view of the Civil War. As a physical part of the VHS building, these murals are an important manifestation of the intersection of art and history in creating and perpetuating understandings about the past. After our time at the VHS, we will return to campus and continue to build the Google maps resource by considering ways to include women and people of color.
Wednesday Daily Question – How do collective memories of the same event differ?
We will travel by private bus to Appomattox, to see two sites – the MoC-Appomattox and the ACH. While at the MoC-Appomattox, we will be led through the contemporary exhibit by Ms. Josie Butler, an experienced museum educator. This museum, opened in 2012, utilizes various technologies in their exhibition and presents the story of Lee. Following this tour, we will go to the nearby ACH, run by the National Park Service, and view the buildings, objects, and artifacts in their collection. Mr. Patrick Shroeder will lead our tour at the ACH and will specifically address military history. Through viewing these two sites that both relate to Lee’s surrender, the group will look for similarities and differences in the ways the stories are told.
Thursday Daily Question – What role do the arts play in shaping collective memories?
Our day will begin with a lecture by Dr. Juilee Decker, a Museum Studies professor at Rochester Institute of Technology whose work focuses on Civil War monuments. Through using images of monuments to Civil War leaders and events from the north and south, but focusing on Richmond, she will lead the teachers in understanding the artistic meaning and symbolism behind the monuments. Additionally, she will discuss various other monuments to Civil War figures to situate these in an art historical context.
Following her talk, Dr. Melanie Buffington will make connections between the topic of collective memory from the previous days and public art. This will lead into a group discussion facilitated by Decker and Buffington about how the monuments visually promote collective memories. Following lunch, we will take a private bus along Monument Avenue, passing by several of the monuments, and arrive at the VMFA where curator Mr. Christopher Oliver and educator Ms. Twyla Kitts will lead us on a tour of the galleries. Because the VMFA’s collection and its physical site on the grounds that once were the home for confederate veterans, this visit will allow teachers to see art related to collective memories of the Civil War and explore an important physical remnant of the Civil War. Once we return to VCU, the teachers will have time to continue working on the collective Google map by uploading their photographs from the site visits and commenting about the monuments and cultural institutions. This evening we will have a viewing of segments of popular movies that relate to collective memories of the Civil War – Birth of a Nation, Gone With the Wind, Lincoln, and, Glory. Because of the length of these films, we will view and discuss segments of them and explore film as another artistic means that spreads collective memories.
Friday Daily Question – What can we do to tell more stories?
On Friday, we will take a conceptual turn and think about more recent public art in Richmond that relates to the Civil War and makes an effort to tell stories that trouble the prevailing Lost Cause narrative present along Monument Avenue. The morning will begin by traveling to downtown Richmond to see the Reconciliation statue at the site of the former slave jail and auction site. Following a brief discussion, we will travel to the canal walk and view the monument to Henry ‘Box’ Brown, an enslaved man who was sealed into a box and mailed to Philadelphia to escape slavery. We will then travel a short distance to the ACWM and view the statue of Lincoln with his son Tad. Here, Mr. Sean Kane, an educator for the ACWM, will join us, lead a discussion of the monument, and take us through the ACWM.
After viewing the ACWM, we will travel to the end of Monument Avenue and view the contemporary monument to Arthur Ashe. Like the reconciliation piece, the Henry ‘Box’ Brown piece, and the Lincoln monument, the Arthur Ashe monument presents a counter memory that contrasts with the Lost Cause narrative. Our discussion at this site will focus on how its presence changes Monument Avenue. We will continue walking along Monument Avenue for several blocks seeing the monuments to Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, J.E.B. Stuart, and Matthew Maury up close. Following our return to campus and lunch, Dr. Vaughn Garland will speak about public art in Richmond and the challenges of erecting new public art related to historical events. Mr. Paul DiPasquale, the sculptor who created the Arthur Ashe monument, will be the next speaker and he will address the planning and construction of the Ashe monument that functions as a counter memory to the prevailing Lost Cause collective memory that Monument Avenue promotes. He will also address the positive and negative reactions to the piece and how it changed the narrative on Monument Avenue.
The final afternoon work session will be longer as the teachers will complete a section of the Google Map resource, flesh out a lesson idea, or build a plan to support their implementation of a new lesson related to the collective memories of the Civil War. We will have an evening wrap-up and evaluation that relates to trouble-shooting problems the teachers anticipate.