Institute for Advanced Study, Northrop, and University Honors Program Present
Katrina Phillips: Associate Professor of History, Macalester College and Monument Lab Advisory Board
Jean M. O’Brien: Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Northrop Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Robyne Robinson: journalist, advocate, and arts consultant
With murals on display from: Save the Boards
Public art and monuments are extremely visible components of our civic life, but do these symbols truly represent our history and values? Large data sets and catalogs of public art offerings help us to analyze the human landscape, including who is honored in our public spaces, and whose contributions to civic life are misrepresented or unrecognized. Murals visualize communities and current events, and expressing political views can be dangerous for muralists. This panel of scholars and public art practitioners will discuss Monument Lab’s National Monument Audit as well as regional perspectives on our substantial, but incomplete, collection of murals and monuments.
ABOUT THE SPOTLIGHT SERIES
The University of Minnesota Spotlight Series is a collaborative partnership between the Institute for Advanced Study, Northrop, and University Honors Program to present lectures, panel discussions, exhibits, and other events throughout the academic year around timely topics of interest. The six-part 2022-23 series will focus on how data—their collection, analysis, and the research questions that rely on them—connect to the deeply personal lived experiences of individual human beings and to the human condition at large. Events are Thu 3:30-5:00 pm CT and may be attended in Northrop’s Best Buy Theater or online via Zoom. Q&A sessions will follow each event.
MURALS ON DISPAY FROM SAVE THE BOARDS
Save the Boards is a community based preservation project focused on raising awareness about state sanctioned violence, and the power of protest art as a form of resistance and healing. Boards and murals collected following the murder of George Floyd are used to emphasize the importance of providing space in the community for relection, learning, and creation. savetheboards.org
ABOUT THE PRESENTERS
Jean M. O’Brien (citizen, White Earth Ojibwe Nation) is Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Northrop Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. She is a co-founder and past president of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and inaugural co-editor (with Robert Warrior) of the association’s journal, Native American and Indigenous Studies. She has published seven books, most recently, Allotment Stories: Indigenous Land Relations Under Settler Siege (edited with Daniel Heath Justice, University of Minnesota Press, 2022). Her most recent monograph (with Lisa Blee) Monumental Mobility: The Memory Work of Massasoit, won the inaugural Winthrop Prize for the Outstanding Book on Seventeenth-Century New England for 2019-2020 from the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, an honorable mention from the National Council on Public History, and was a finalist for the Best Subsequent Book from the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. O’Brien is an elected member of the Society of American Historians and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2022.
Katrina Phillips is an Associate Professor of History with a focus on Native history and the history of the American West. Born and raised in northern Wisconsin, Professor Phillips is a proud citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. She earned a BA and PhD in History from the University of Minnesota and spent two years as a Consortium for Faculty Diversity fellow before joining the ranks of the Macalester faculty in 2016. She is the author of Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and Performances of Native American History and is currently at work on “there are rocks in between”: Activism, Environmentalism, and Tourism in Northern Wisconsin. As a public historian, Phillips’s work has appeared in the “Made By History” section of the Washington Post; she’s appeared on Native America Calling, NPR’s 1A, and Indigeneity Rising.
Robyne Robinson has had a commanding presence in the Minnesota Arts community as an entrepreneur, advocate, journalist, designer, and consultant. During her tenure as Art Director and fiveXfive Consultant at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minnesota received more than $5 million in art commissions for performances, displays and art installations created by Minnesota and Upper Midwest artists. Robinson created an Emmy-winning platform for Minnesota Arts during her years as a TV news anchor-reporter at Fox 9 News. She also made financial education and business development in the arts one of her key initiatives as a 2010 candidate for Lt. Governor of Minnesota. Robinson has served on numerous arts boards including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), and the Minnesota Museum of American Art, where she served as Board Chair.
Image Credit: The Battle is Joined (2017), Karyn Olivier, courtesy Monument Lab. Learn more about the monument and artist.