Book Talk with Ryan K. Smith: Death and Rebirth in a Southern City
December 3, 2020 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Issues of race and war have shaped Richmond’s identity and that of its cemeteries in profound ways. The city’s places of burial illustrate how the color line held fast through otherwise monumental changes and reveal a revolution taking place, today, as activist groups step forward to reorganize and reclaim the commemorative landscape for once marginalized communities while redefining Confederate memory. Through archival research, landscape analysis, and extensive oral histories discover the power and importance of these sites.
Ryan K. Smith is a Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he teaches courses on American religious history and material culture. He received a Ph.D. in American civilization from the University of Delaware and an M.A. in history from the College of William and Mary. He has also worked as a local records archivist at the Library of Virginia. He is the author of three books: Gothic Arches, Latin Crosses(2006), Robert Morris’s Folly (2014), and, most recently, Death and Rebirth in a Southern City (2020). A companion website for his latest project is available at www.richmondcemeteries.org, showcasing the work done by many of his students.