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Department of Sociology and Anthropology

University of Mississippi

History of the Past Symposium

On the University of Mississippi’s campus, many departments and individuals have long been concerned about the institution’s lingering association with racist traditions. In the wake of the tragic events at Charlottesville last August, this scrutiny has been directed onto the Confederate statues on our campus.

The same political fringe groups who propagate a skewed interpretation of American history also make spurious appeals to moments and symbols decontextualized from “the Middle Ages” to advance incendiary political agendas. Medieval academic organizations (such as the Medieval Academy of America) were quick and eloquent in responding to Charlottesville. UM’s Medieval Studies Program will follow their initiative by hosting The History of the Past: Nostalgia, Myth, and Contemporary American Politics. In its panels and roundtable, this symposium will explore the general question: How have Medieval and Confederate symbols been used, imagined, and invented?

More information and full event listing at