Shadowed Ground, Sacred Place: Reflections on Memory, Memorials and the Spatiality of Public Commemorative Rituals

Authors: Kenneth Foote*, University of Connecticut
Topics: Religion and Belief Systems , Cultural Geography, Historical Geography
Keywords: ritual, public memory, commemoration, religion, cultural geography
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 48
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


My presentation focuses on public memory and commemoration and how these crosscut traditional concepts of ritual and sacred place, in three ways. First, I consider recent traumas and their consequences for changing patterns and processes of memorialization in the American and European landscapes. Second, I consider how the creation of these memorials is expanding the repertoire of ritual spaces in contemporary society as well as providing settings for debate over religious expression, public versus private expressions of grief and bereavement, and individual versus collective control of the sacred. My presentation closes by reflecting on the theoretical significance of these developments and offering a spatial perspective on ritual practice in contemporary society.




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