Posts by: Bridget Conley

The below short video [3.5 minutes] is based on Bridget Conley’s two part essay, “How a statue unveiled the President.”

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Monuments to Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis or other Confederate icons tell a different story from that of the American dream of unending expansion of equality and justice. As documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the vast majority was erected by those committed to the history of prejudice and racism despite losing the war, by transforming it into the narrative of the Lost Cause. Defeat in battle transformed into a fight to control the peace. While commemoration began in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, monuments to the Lost Cause—many taking the same form of the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville that was the provocation for the latest events in 2017—sprouted like poisonous mushrooms in the days after a storm. Construction of these symbols of the south surged at the turn of the last century, spiking in 1910 but continuing into the early 1940s, contemporaneous to the imposition of Jim Crow laws across the South.

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The swamps around Washington, DC were drained a long time ago to make space for the nation’s monuments. In the 1800s, the capital landscape underwent alterations that culminate in today’s National Mall, an expanse of 146 acres, dotted with museums, memorials and monuments whose contradictory stories represent American history. The most recent addition is […]

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My article, “The ‘Politics of Protection’: Assessing the African Union’s Contributions to Reducing Violence Against Civilians” is now available through International Peacekeeping

Abstract:

Does the African Union (AU) have an anti-atrocities strategy, and if so, how would one recognize it and assess its impact? This paper proposes two manners of responding to these […]

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My interest here is in what these movies try to say about the world and the place of violence — evil or righteous – in it. As American films in a world where the United States still possesses more military firepower than any other country (as example, in 2016 the US defence budget nearly topped the next fifteen largest national defence budgets combined), it is difficult not to view these films as metaphors for US power, regardless of the various nationalities of the characters. The launching point for these thoughts is Wonder Woman: the first female-led superhero movie, notably directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. One could examine the film, as many have, from a feminist perspective, in which the film appears as a triumph of female power. More interesting to me is, given the amount of violence on display in the genre, what does a film want to say about violence? In this, Wonder Woman is a serious backward step from the emerging trend of more established superhero franchises that have recently projected a sense of unease about the inevitable harms and trade-offs that come with reliance on destructive force.

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My research over the past year has returned to a topic I once spent a great deal of time thinking about: memorial museums. And so I took advantage of a recent trip to New York City to tour, for the first time, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

The events of September 11th – […]

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