October 15-17, 2021
Fort Ticonderoga celebrates 200 years of preservation on the Ticonderoga peninsula with “Historically Situated: History, Memory, and Place,” a special conference focused on the historic preservation in North America, including historical perspective and contemporary issues.
Fort Ticonderoga: Ruin, Reconstruction, and the Making of a Historical Landscape—While Fort Ticonderoga’s role as a military outpost spanned only a few decades, most of its existence has been, first, as a venerated ruin into the early twentieth century, then as a pioneering historical reconstruction. Throughout much of this period, the environs served a dual function as a tourist destination and as a refined country estate for the Pell family. This layered and complex legacy has contributed to rendering the site one of the most historically rich in the United States. Richard Longstreth is a Professor of American Studies emeritus at George Washington University. He is a member of the Fort Ticonderoga Board and past president of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.
Representations of Historic Sites in Popular Culture and Folklore: Opportunities and Challenges for Preserving and Promoting Heritage—Public interest in the traditional folklore associated with historic sites—in bizarre, often supernatural stories—has surged in recent years. This interest presents both opportunities and challenges for these sites: should folklore be promoted or embraced, and at what cost or benefit to preserving and teaching about the past? Dr. Jeffrey S. Debies-Carl is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of New Haven where he studies the cultural significance of landscape and place.
“To restore ‘Old Ironsides’ to Bostonians where she belongs”: The 200-year History of USS Constitution and the City of Boston—From USS Constitution’s 1797 Boston Harbor launch to Theodore Roosevelt’s “it is fitting that the most famous ship in our navy…should be connected…with Massachusetts…”; from the 1954 law designating Boston as her home port, to CNO Jay Johnson’s 1998 decision “that the nation is best served by… [keeping] Old Ironsides in close proximity to… Boston Harbor…”– this paper will examine the inseparable relationship of the City of Boston and the USS Constitution, America’s Ship of State. Margherita M. Desy is a maritime scholar who has published in scholarly and popular journals and is the only naval historian to have sailed on the two oldest vessels capable of sailing under their own power—the U.S. Navy’s 1797 frigate Constitution and Mystic Seaport Museum’s 1841 whaleship the Charles W. Morgan.
Spaces as Continued Claim to Place: The Marcus Whitmans and Walla Walla, Washington—Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, Protestant missionaries, were killed in the Walla Walla valley in 1847 after a failed attempt at converting and colonizing the Cayuse people. This talk will discuss three historical and colonial organizations in Walla Walla, Washington and their role in the region’s politics of memory. Grace Fritzke is a Master’s student in Religion at Syracuse University and has previously worked for Tamástslikt Cultural Institute (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation).
Black Statues: Where We Stand on Race within Our Capital Space—During current social upheaval and debate over remembrance or removal of existing Confederate statues, it is especially revealing to see where statues remain erected of Black individuals. This lecture will analyze the underexplored public history of African American memory, specifically through the national presence of most openly displayed Black statue figures. Dr. Frederick Gooding, Jr., an Associate Professor at Texas Christian University’s Honors College, studies the relationship between race and image with his latest book, Black Oscars: What the Academy Awards Tell Us about African Americans having been released by Rowman & Littlefield in May 2020.
A Daguerreotype Unravels & Rebuilds Preservation: Mary Brice and Point of Honor—An encased photographic portrait of an enslaved woman associated with the historic house Point of Honor reappeared in a pop-up exhibit at the Lynchburg Museum in 2019. Kept by the Library of Congress but wholly ignored in the interpretation and presentation of Point of Honor, the daguerreotype of Mary Brice offers an unparalleled opportunity to unravel previous efforts at historic preservation and rebuild relevant narratives and preservation activities useful to 21st-century central Virginia. Dr. Laura A. Macaluso is the author of essays and books about museums, monuments, and material culture.
Piazza Venezian, Rome: The Political Meaning of a Multimemorial Place (1911-1943)—From 1911 to 1943, Piazza Venezia in Rome has been the main scenography of the Italian political power, featuring obvious and evident references to the glorious ancient Roman history and odder ones to the Republic of Venice. By analyzing this original mixture of historical references, this session highlights the reasons for this multi-memorial superposition. Enrico Orsingher teaches early modern history at Université Pairs Nanterre and will defend his Ph.D. thesis in 2021 at the École des hautes étdues en sciences sociales de Paris.
The Sing Sing Prison Ruin: The Museum and The Specters of The Incarcerated—The centerpiece of the new prison museum at Sing Sing focuses on the original cellblock, now a decaying Ruin. The SSPM will add its name to the growing number of prison museums in the world—one third of all decommissioned prisons become museums—and inform and entertain thousands of tourists. The prison museum is one of the principal penal educators and contributes to the popular culture which has shaped so much of our thinking about crime and punishment. This paper will explore the Ruin of the original cell block and the opportunities it offers for a more human narrative, one which challenges stereotypical views of the criminal class. Roger Panetta taught history at Fordham University Lincoln Center, was a museum curator, and has published several works on New York and Hudson Valley topics. He is a member of the New York Academy of History.