On Confederate Statues in America: Connor Towne O'NeillWednesday, December 9, 2020 @ 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Streamed on City of Asylum’s Virtual Channel. (run-time 75 minutes)
Can America overcome the generational effects of 400 years of slavery when monuments honoring Confederate generals and slave traders still stand? That’s the central question in Connor Towne O’Neill‘s new book, Down Along with That Devil’s Bones: A Reckoning with Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy of White Supremacy.
O’Neill takes a deep dive in heated conflicts over the attempts to remove monuments to notorious Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest and uses these still-raging battles as a lens to examine the legacy of white supremacy in America.
This conversation will be moderated by Kirk Savage, University of Pittsburgh Professor of the History of Art. Kirk specializes in Public Art, Memory Studies, and the legacy of the Civil War. Kirk is a preeminent monument scholar and will also bring to the conversation a hyper regional focus. Kilolo Luckett, Pittsburgh-based curator and art historian will also join the conversation. Kilolo served on Pittsburgh’s Art Commission throughout the debate around the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue.
Connor Towne O’Neill is the author of Down Along with That Devil’s Bones: A Reckoning with Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy of White Supremacy. He is also a producer on the NPR podcast White Lies, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in audio reporting. His writing has appeared in New York Magazine, Vulture, Slate, Village Voice, and RBMA. A graduate of the creative writing program at the University of Alabama, O’Neill teaches at Auburn University and with the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project.
Kilolo Luckettis an art historian, curator, and author. She is founding executive director and cheif curator of ALMA|LEWIS, an experimental, contemporary art platform for critical thinking, dialogue, and creative expression dedicated to Black culture. Kilolo is committed to elevating the voices of underrepresented visual artists, specifically women, and artists of color. She is currently writing an authorized biography on Naomi Sims, one of the first Black supermodels.
Kirk Savage is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America and Monument Wars: Washington DC, the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape. Kirk serves on the Advisory Board of Monument Lab.