The Virginia Tech Department of History hosted “Confederate Commemoration in Academic Settings: A Webinar on Memory and Race” — the second in its series of webinars addressing race, protest, and social justice — on August 12.

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The four speakers who participated in the virtual event were:

  • Penny Blue, author of A Time to Protest: Leadership Lessons from My Father Who Survived the Segregated South for 99 Years. A founding member and board member of the Friends of Booker T. Washington National Monument, Blue is also a member of the Franklin County School Board in Virginia. She holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a bachelor’s in mathematics from Hampton University.
  • Taulby Edmondson, an adjunct professor of history and religion and culture at Virginia Tech. His article about college fraternities actively preserving the “Lost Cause” mythology — “The Campus Confederate Legacy We’re Not Talking About” — was published in The Chronicle of Higher Education in July 2020. Edmonson earned his PhD from Virginia Tech’s interdisciplinary ASPECT program in 2018.
  • Ashley Reichelmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech, where she also serves as associate director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention. Reichelmann researches collective memory as a cause and consequence of contemporary violence and prejudice, with a specific focus on how memorialization and representation of past violence impacts modern identity and intergroup relations. Her current work includes understanding the impact of different types of representations, such as memorials and monuments, on local communities.
  • T. J. Tallie, an assistant professor of African history at the University of San Diego. His research focuses on colonialism, gender and racial identity, indigeneity, and sexuality. He is the recent author of Queering Colonial Natal: Indigeneity and the Violence of Belonging in Southern Africa.