Bard Graduate Center Logo Why Come to Hear Ivan Gaskell?

Bard Graduate Center Professor Ivan Gaskell will give a Work-in-Progress talk on Monday, October 22, at 12:15 pm. His talk is entitled “For the Union Dead: Harvard’s Memorial Hall and the Exclusion of the Confederate Fallen.”

The war fought in North America between 1861 and 1865 remains one of the most contentious conflicts in American history. Even allocating it a name is a matter of dispute. One hundred and sixty two members and alumni of Harvard University fell in the Union cause. A large building, incorporating not only works of art commemorating individuals but also marble plaques bearing the names of the fallen, was constructed in the Victorian gothic style to the north of Harvard Yard. It was formally given to Harvard in 1879. However, the 68 Harvard men who gave their lives for the Confederacy are not included. This omission has been the cause of heated debate at various times in the subsequent history of the university, notably during the extensive renovation campaign completed in 1996. This paper, intended for the volume, Philosophical Perspectives on Ruins, Monuments, and Memorials: Artifact and Memory, edited by Jeanette Bicknell, Jennifer Judkins, and Carolyn Korsmeyer, (Routledge), examines some of the ethical implications of the decisions made in relation to this case.

Image: Sanders Theatre Harvard University. Source:


This talk will take place in the Seminar Room at 38 West 86th Street and is open to the BGC community. Please RSVP to