Andrew Shanken is currently the Director of American Studies, Faculty Curator of the Environmental Design Archives, on the Faculty Advisory Committee at the Townsend Center for the Humanities and the Global Urban Humanities at the University of California Berkeley. He has a joint appointment in American Studies. His most recent book is The Everyday Life of Memorials, which explores memorials’ relationship to the pulses of daily life, their meaning within this quotidian context, and their place within the development of modern cities. 

Intro: “The Statue Got Me High,” by They Might Be Giants 


“There is nothing in this world as invisible as a monument.” – Robert Musil 

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington DC, Maya Lin 

Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, Washington DC, Frank Gehry 

National World War II Memorial, Washington DC, 

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin, Peter Eisenman 

Monument vs monumental vs memorial 

The Bastille, Paris 

Mariana Griswold van Rensselaer 

National September 11 Memorial & Museum, New York City, Michael Arad 

New Yorker cover, “Memorial Plaza,” 7-14 July 2014, Adrian Tomine 

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn 

“Death, Grief and Mourning in Contemporary Britain,” – Geoffrey Gorer, 1965 

Sedlec Ossuary, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic 

The Hour of Our Death” – Philippe Ariès, 1977 

Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris 

Brooklyn Strand, repurposing the Brooklyn War Memorial as a conduit to New York City’s park system 

Hyde Park Corner, London 

Monuments that “switch on” only when they’re blown up or taken down

Marian Columns 

Georgia Guidestones 

Robert E. Lee Monument, Richmond 

White contractors wouldn’t remove Confederate statues. So a Black man did it. 

“Kickstarter urbanism” and the crowd-funded monument 


“The Great War and Modern Memory” – Paul Fussell 

The Grove, Los Angeles 

Texas State Capital Grounds, Austin 

Outro: “Monuments for a Dead Century,” by The Boo Radleys