- College of Liberal Arts
- College Colloquium
- Course Offerings
- From War Memorials to Ghost Bikes: Constructing and Contesting Public Memory
From War Memorials to Ghost Bikes: Constructing and Contesting Public MemoryCourse taught by: Catherine A. Collins
The Willamette campus, Salem, and the state of Oregon offer a visual record of who we are, what we have done, and what we value. The course examines monuments, architecture, formal and informal spaces, even temporary markers of memory whether of achievement, grief, or historical record. We study historic buildings and memorials, roadside shrines and cemeteries, public art, gardens, Portland’s ghost bike tributes and war memorials. These visual stories of who we are celebrate, mourn and record institutions, people and events that mark Willamette, Salem and the state as distinctive places. We explore how memorialization makes space sacred. Visual memory records that we study at times confirm and at times contest official narratives. 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.