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HISTORY, MEMORY, AND PUBLIC SPACE

PART 2 OF 4: MEMORY

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History, Memory and Public Space is a series that addresses how differing historical perspectives shape our present and future. In this second installment of the series we introduce the subject of memory.

How does memory influence history? It is undeniable that individual and collective memories bring to bear layered, nuanced understandings of historical events that continue to shape our lives in the present in complex ways. In this conversation with Scott Hartwig and Heather McClenahan, we explore this broad question by thinking through historical monuments, their construction and reinforcement of history through memory.

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Raffi E. Andonian facilitates this series. Raffi is a best-selling author of 3 books. He has previously worked guiding visitors at the Gettysburg battlefield, the Civil War sites around Richmond, the Martin Luther King birth home in Atlanta, and the history museum in Los Alamos NM. He has a master’s degree in history and another master’s degree in historic preservation. 

D. Scott Harwig retired in 2014 as the supervisory park historian at Gettysburg National Military Park after a 34-year career in the National Park Service, nearly all of it spent at Gettysburg. He won the regional Freeman Tilden Award for excellence in interpretation in 1993, and was a key player in the design of all aspects of the new Gettysburg museum/visitor center. He is the author of To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign from September 3 to September 16, published in September 2012 by Johns Hopkins University Press, and is currently working on the second volume, tentatively titled, I Dread the Thought of Place: The Battle of Antietam, which covers the battle and end of the Maryland Campaign.

Heather McClenahan is a native New Mexican, born in Las Cruces, graduated from high school in Gallup, and spent the bulk of her career in Los Alamos. She has bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Political Science from Drake University and a master’s in History from the University of South Florida. After retiring from the Executive Director position at the Los Alamos Historical Society in 2019, she and her husband were traveling the world, looking for warm places to live, and got stuck in Panama when the pandemic hit. They have since settled in Las Cruces, where Heather is working on a book about Los Alamos history in between hiking, bird watching, and eating green chile.