Memory Works

A Symposium on Remembering and Reckoning with Slavery’s Legacies

October 6-8, 2022

The University of the South

Sewanee, Tennessee

The Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation at the University of the South 

invites you to join us this October 6-8 (Thursday-Saturday) for 

Memory Works: A Symposium on Remembering and Reckoning with Slavery’s LegaciesThe symposium will spotlight ongoing initiatives that community organizations, colleges, and universities have undertaken, often in innovative partnerships, to identify, confront, and alter the legacies of slavery that still resonate in their local environments. It will bring together community leaders, museum professionals, scholars, and students in a small and friendly setting designed for generating conversations, sharing experiences, and workshopping new approaches to commemoration for a region that still reflects a century of fealty to the “Lost Cause.”

In focusing on how “memory works,” the symposium aims to shed light on the ways memory and commemoration operate in local contexts to reinforce inequities built into the status quo. But panels also will explore how “works of memory,” including new or altered or removed memorials, can disrupt and even repair long-established patterns and practices of racist injustice. The emphasis throughout the symposium will be on sharing information about the “memory works” underway today in interactive community history projects, collaborative archiving, digital humanities, the design and installation of new memorials, and the recovery of the historical memory of African American lives and experiences.


Symposium Keynote (Thursday, Oct. 6, 6 p.m. CDT)

"Race and Memorialization: What the South Remembers and Forgets"

Dr. Karen Cox, Professor of History, University of North Carolina Charlotte, 

author of No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice.

Symposium Registration

All participants should register for the symposium. Students (graduate or undergraduate) do not have to pay a registration fee. For non-students, the registration fee is $35. 

For the first 50 persons (students and non-students alike) to register, registration includes the following:

 Registration Deadline: September 15, 2022

Call for Poster Session

The Roberson Project invites undergraduate and graduate students, public historians, preservationists, and community organizers to submit proposals for a poster session at our October "Memory Works" symposium

Proposed posters should address research, curricular and other campus activities, or community organizing that connects with the symposium theme of how "memory works"  to preserve or disrupt slavery’s legacies in memory and commemoration. 

Applicants for the Poster Session should submit proposals, including a 250-word abstract and 100-word maximum brief bio. 

Selected poster presenters will receive a travel stipend of $200 to attend the symposium. Meals and accommodations are also included. 

Submission deadline: September 1, 2022

Have Questions? Contact Kathleen Solomon (Program Manager, Legacies of American Slavery Initiative) 

The Memory Works Symposium is sponsored by the Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation at the University of the South, and in its role as one of seven Regional Collaboration Partners in the Legacies of American Slavery Network, a multiyear program under the direction of the Council of Independent Colleges and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University’s Macmillan Center. The symposium is made possible through the generous support of the Mellon Foundation. Additional support comes from the Center for Southern Studies at the University of the South.