Call for papers for online workshop series and edited volume

Contested Monuments

Convened by Paul Basu and Sophia Labadi

Intent: submissions are invited for an online workshop series and eventual inclusion in an edited volume on ‘Contested Monuments.’ Monuments, defined primarily but not exclusively as statues and memorials, have faced profound transformations in recent years, challenging the concept of ‘monumentality’ in new ways. These profound transformations include contestation, toppling and removal of monuments associated with colonialism, racism and oppression; new or counter-monuments that represent diversity, inclusion and social justice; reinterpretation of contested monuments; and temporary and artistic responses to (contested) monuments. These new approaches to monuments question and redefine the very notion of heritage, memory and tangibility, destabilizing the supposed fixity of meaning materialized in memorial form.

The workshop series and edited volume aim to examine these new approaches to monumentality critically and whether and how they challenge, re-imagine and transform wider issues of social justice, representation, identities, nation-building, participation, history, democracy, and memory. The series/volume intends to provide a comprehensive and global approach, with case studies from around the globe.

Submissions are invited on issues such as:

  • Toppling statues/urban fallism
  • Changes to memory activism
  • Recent contestations of monuments and differences with older movements
  • Transnational approaches to contesting monuments
  • Backlash against Contested Monuments
  • Newly erected monuments as counter-monuments
  • Official or unofficial reinterpretation of existing monuments
  • Artistic practices questioning monuments.
  • Digital monuments

Format, process and deadline: Expression of interest (title and 300-word abstract) should be emailed to the convenors by 30 October 2023. Selected contributors will be invited to participate in the online workshop series to develop their contributions. Final chapter submissions (of around 6500 words) will be submitted by 30 June 2024 for peer review.

Please feel free to contact Paul Basu and/or Sophia Labadi for advice and guidance. We especially encourage contributions from early career scholars, scholars from underrepresented regions, artists and activists and we offer enhanced editorial support to these authors if required.

Please contact:

Paul Basu

  • University of Oxford and Global Heritage Lab, University of Bonn

Sophia Labadi

  • University of Kent and Global Heritage Lab, University of Bonn

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