54 minutes | Apr 2, 2021

198. Contesting Monuments and Memory in South Carolina with Dr. Lydia Brandt

The South Carolina State House Grounds is a landscape of monuments and memory. Since the capital moved from Charleston to Columbia in the 1780s, South Carolinians have been erecting, moving, and contesting monuments on the capitol’s grounds, using them to debate the past as they really argue about their present. Monuments and statues are the subject of great debate right now, not only in the United States, but around the world, and South Carolina’s commemorations can help us to understand why. In 1858, South Carolinians purchased a George Washington statute for their capitol grounds, as did other legislatures in the nineteenth century, but the reasons they did so may surprise you. On today’s show, former Washington Library Research Fellow Dr. Lydia Brandt joins Jim Ambuske to discuss her new book, The South Carolina State House Grounds: A Guidebook, published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2021. Brandt, who is a professor of art history at the university, is an expert on how American buildings and landscapes shape ideas about the past. Her book takes the public on a tour of the Carolina capitol to show how metal, earth, and stone tell stories about the past and attempt to re-write it. Brandt is also the host of Historically Complex, a podcast that guides listeners on a walking tour of the South Carolina State House Grounds. Stay tuned after today’s conversation for an exclusive sneak peek at one of Brandt’s Historically Complex episodes. About Our Guest: Lydia Mattice Brandt, Ph.D., is an architectural historian, historic preservationist, and associate professor of art history at the University of South Carolina. She is the author of First in the Homes of His Countrymen: George Washington's Mount Vernon in the American Imagination and many articles published in Winterthur Portfolio, Antiques & Fine Art, and the Public Historian. About of Host: Jim Ambuske, Ph.D., leads the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library. A historian of the American Revolution, Scotland, and the British Atlantic World, Ambuske graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016. He is a former Farmer Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia Law Library. At UVA Law, Ambuske co-directed the 1828 Catalogue Project and the Scottish Court of Session Project.  He is currently at work on a book about emigration from Scotland in the era of the American Revolution as well as a chapter on Scottish loyalism during the American Revolution for a volume to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/mountvernon/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/mountvernon/support
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