Search This Site

Remembering the Past in the Modern Era: How Communities Deal with Contested Spaces

Presenters Name: 
Mae Hovland
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
Frank Dukes
Secondary Research Mentor: 
Selena Cozart
2:00 - 3:15
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

Although the events of August 11th and 12th in Charlottesville forced the world to pay attention to how we use public spaces to preserve history (and what history is preserved), similar contested spaces exist around the world. The Transforming Community Spaces project at the Institute for Environmental Negotiation hopes to create resources for communities with such spaces by studying past community reactions. I focused on one case study of a middle school in Minnesota that wrestled with the implications of being named after Alexander Ramsey, a proponent of forcing Native Americans from their homelands in Minnesota. By engaging the student body as well as the outside community in the decision making process, this school came to the decision to change their name. This case was unique in that the school used the discussion as an educational tool to teach students about the untold history of Minnesota and the importance of inclusivity. This is just one of many case studies that will be soon published online to give other communities struggling with conflicted spaces some guidelines on how to approach the issue.