"Monuments, Memorials, and Memory Work: Framing the Robert E. Lee Statue in Richmond, Virginia." The Electronic Journal of Communication, 2018.

Type: 
Article
Author(s): 
Chloé Nurik

This paper focuses on the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, Virginia, as a case study of how views of Confederate statues and the corresponding collective memory of the American Civil War have changed over time. Combining a historical analysis of the erection and early reception of this statue with an examination of how it has been discussed in the contemporary media landscape (in particular, The Richmond Times-DispatchThe New York Times, and Reddit), this article argues that competing understandings of the statue as either a monument or a memorial have fueled acrimony, reflecting and reinforcing current polarization in American society, which has impeded open discourse and prevented necessary reunification and collective decision making about the statue.