Main content

The Politics of Memorials

The Politics of Memorials: Laurie Taylor explores the nature and meaning of commemoration, from Ireland to the Mississippi Delta.

The Politics of Memorials: Remembering Emmet Till – in 1955, a young African-American was lynched in Mississippi at the age of 14, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store. Driving through the Mississippi Delta today, you’ll find a landscape dotted with memorials to major figures and moments from the civil rights movement, none more tragic than this murder. The ways in which his death is remembered have been fraught from the beginning, revealing the political controversies which lurk behind the placid facades of historical markers. Dave Tell, Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, analyses the various ways that this landmark event in the civil rights movement has been commemorated. Also, Margaret O’Callaghan, Reader in History, Queen’s University Belfast, discusses commemoration in the context of Irish history. How has the marking of the Easter Rising shifted over time? What roles are played by memorials in any society? And what forces dictate what gets remembered and what is forgotten? Revised repeat.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Available now

27 minutes

Last on

Mon 31 Aug 2020 00:15


1916 in 1966: Commemorating the Easter Rising, edited by Mary E. Daly and Margaret O'Callaghan, (Royal Irish Academy, 2007) 

Remembering Emmett Till by Dave Tell (University of Chicago Press, May 2019) 


  • Wed 1 May 2019 16:00
  • Mon 6 May 2019 00:15
  • Wed 26 Aug 2020 16:00
  • Mon 31 Aug 2020 00:15

Download this programme

Download this programme

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes.