WHAT ABOUT GEORGE?

Re-Casting an Image



What About George? is a series of temporary installations and engagements to be held in Miami University’s Alumni Hall throughout the 2020-21 academic year. Centered around the William Hubard statue of George Washington,  which is located in the rotunda of Alumni Hall, the project seeks to engage the campus community in a dialog about the legacy of Washington as an historical figure, the legacy of his ideas, and the story of the statue itself.

We begin with the premise that architecture, art, and the built environment intrinsically manifest an institution’s values. As such, does the current context of the monument centered in the Alumni Hall rotunda thwart an accurate and nuanced understanding of the legacy of Washington’s ideas and persona? Does the current underdeveloped context of the Washington statue ultimately perpetuate historical misunderstandings, and by extension reproduce inequalities on campus and in the broader public sphere?

Given the difficult legacies of Washington as statesman, military strategist, enslaver of people, and committed western expansionist over native lands, the statue presents a complex relationship for students, staff, and faculty who are confronted with his image on a daily basis. Further, Miami University exists in part because of an ordinance signed by Washington in 1795 after the Treaty of Greenville with the indigenous peoples of the area. The statue, on the other hand, is linked to the Confederacy, both through the artist Hubard as well as the benefactor of the statue to Miami University, Samuel Laws.

Our goal with these temporary installations and conversations is to bring forward and expose these historically problematic views and ask, in what ways might they inform issues like structural racism that still exist today?  

This site will be updated throughout the 2020-21 academic year with engagements and installation dates. If you have an idea for an engagement, lecture, or installation, please see the Propose an Event page.


Upcoming Events


Event. Film: This Water Cuts its Own Course
Online
Nov. 6. 9:00PM
A film by Diane Fellows; Storytellers: Gail Della-Piana; Kendra Soler. 18 min

This is a story of three teeth. Teeth excised from former slaves or slaves owned by George Washington became part of his set of teeth. Each tooth’s contemporary descendant tells a story of displacement and reclamation in the American societal landscape.
Link to Fringe Festival: https://www.miamioh.edu/cca/academics/departments/theatre/production-season/digital-fringe/


Link to Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxCNw6Zftyo&feature=youtu.be                                       


Event 1. “Under Construction”
Alumni Hall Rotunda
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056

The first project “Under Construction” launches on August 17, 2020 to coincide with the first day of classes on the Miami University campus.  This installation suggests that Washington’s legacy and his presence in the public realm warrants further investigation, interrogation, and the mining of our collective history.

Solicitation of feedback occurs through this website and also in Alumni Hall where the Hubard statue is located. The collected community feedback will be installed on the statue throughout the semester as part of the installation, and updates will be posted here.

SUBMIT YOUR STORY HERE

PROPOSE AN EVENT HERE








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Have an idea for Collaborating, a Lecture, or a Meeting?

Events for the 2020-21 academic year are being planned right now

Get in touch by contacting:
arcid@miamioh.edu

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