Jack Tchen on Memorializing Obscured Histories: Monuments in New York and Beyond

How do we think about history? Whose history is it? And how is history constructed, both in academic terms and in a public way?

These questions were made apparent in discussions of the NYC Mayor’s Commission on Monuments, where Jack Tchen, Professor of Public History and the Humanities at Rutgers University, served as a panelist. In this episode, Tchen walks us through the ways the city’s public history has been organized, the processes and findings of the Commission, and a vision to re-establish Lenape life, history, and culture into historical discourse of the region.

This episode features audio from the public program “Who Decides? The History and Future of Monument Creation in New York City,” held on October 9, 2018, in the Segal Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center. This program was the second event in the series “Difficult Histories/Public Spaces: The Challenge of Monuments in New York City and the Nation,” sponsored by the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, The Gotham Center for New York City History, and the CUNY Public History Collective.  The series is supported by a grant from Humanities New York and the National Endowment for the Humanities.