Visual Stories of Who We Are: Salem as a Memory Box
The campus, the city, the Willamette valley are a memory box of people, and events offering a visual record of who we are, what we have done, and what we value. The course examines monuments, architecture, formal spaces and informal, even temporary, markers of memory whether of achievement, grief, or historical record. We will study historic buildings and memorials, roadside shrines and cemeteries, public art, gardens, and war memorials. These visual stories of who we are celebrate, mourn and record institutions, people and events that mark Salem as place. We explore how memorialization makes space sacred. Visual memory records that we will study may affirm official narratives or offer evidence of a disputed past. By choosing what will be remembered in these ways – whether highly personal or easily forgettable and formulaic – we shape future understandings of who we are, even as we have been shaped.
Course taught by
Catherine A. Collins