Spontaneous memorial for cyberbullying suicide victim

Girl’s Suicide Points to Rise in Apps Used by Cyberbullies – NYTimes.com.


The latest in the increasingly common trend toward creating “spontaneous memorials” at sites of trauma or tragedy, an example of the “memorial mania” that historian Erika Doss writes about (and which we’ll be reading about in class in a few weeks).  Teddy bears, candles, balloons, flowers hanging on fences: these memorials have become a consistent feature on the US tragic landscape.



The ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ on the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq War

The ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ on the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq War.

A thought-provoking piece from Bill Moyers’s website on the 10th Anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.  Pieces like this mark the beginning of the “historicization” of the Iraq War.  But making something into “history” doesn’t mean it’s “settled.”  It’s just been 10 years, and coming so soon (relatively), it’s not a surprise that the issues– of the justification of the war, its costs, its place in larger contexts of war and memory– are still so volatile.

Here’s a tweet from Donald Rumsfeld, one of the Iraq War architects. Note the appropriation of the term “role in history,” casting the war in its reflected glow:  “10 yrs ago began the long, difficult work of liberating 25 mil Iraqis. All who played a role in history deserve our respect & appreciation.”  

Here’s a typically irreverent take from the Onion on an “Iraq War Memorial” on the Washington Mall:

And here’s another “proposal” for  a memorial to the war by artist Sam Durant:


“Proposal for Iraq War Memorial, Symbolic Transposition of effects of war in Iraq to the U.S. and England: 10 Downing St., Parliament, U.S. Capitol and White House.”  The “proposal” was done for an exhibition at the ICA in London, which described the project:  “The intention is not to find a definitive memorial to a war, a difficult task at any time, and especially in the context of an ongoing conflict. Instead the exhibition explores different views of the Iraq War, and different perspectives on what can or should be memorialised.”