UBC Press Picks: Books on Public Memory and Commemoration

Posted: Thursday, August 24, 2017


How do we remember the past?

Monuments and public art are embedded with meaning, shaping how we understand the past. How do they support or challenge common interpretations of the past – and the present? How might civic art and commemorations claim space for society’s more vulnerable groups? And how do local places – the main street, the city square, the village museum, internment camps, and the rural landscape – become spaces that connect memory with identity?

These questions and many more are explored in books…


Placing Memory and Remembering Place in Canada

Edited by James Opp and John C. Walsh

A fascinating book that situates local places and local expressions of public memory such as statues, photographs, and oral stories at the centre of identity formation in twentieth-century Canada and beyond.


Identity and Memory in an Irish Diaspora Neighbourhood

Matthew Barlow

This vibrant biography of Griffintown, an inner-city Irish Catholic neighbourhood in Montreal, brings to life the history of Irish identity and collective memory in this legendary enclave.


Speaking for a Long Time
Public Space and Social Memory in Vancouver

Adrienne L. Burk

This vivid account of the creation of three public monuments in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside offers unique insights into the links between power, public space, and social memory and asks us to reconsider the nature and role of civic art.


Photography, Memory, and Refugee Identity
The Voyage of the SS Walnut, 1948 

Lynda Mannik

A nuanced look at the relationship between memory and photography as reflected in the experiences of Estonian refugees en route to Canada aboard the SS Walnut in 1948.


Terrain of Memory
A Japanese Canadian Memorial Project 

Kirsten Emiko McAllister

This book explores how Japanese Canadians living in an isolated mountainous valley in the province of British Columbia worked together to transform the village where they lived for over fifty years from a site of political violence into a space for remembrance.

Posted in UBC Press Picks
Posted by Megan M.
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