february, 2023

07feb7:00 pm8:30 pmMemory and Lost Causes: A Tale of Two MonumentsFaculty Explorations

Event Details

We are in a period of genuine historical reckoning over how we remember the Civil War and honor its participants.  Prominent Confederate statuary has been removed in many cities including New Orleans, Memphis and even the former capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia.  Further, southern military bases named for Confederate generals are now in the process of being re-named.  Within this wider context, Georgians are grappling with two prominent relics from their Confederate past, the monument to the Confederate Dead in Forsyth Park in Savannah and, to a greater extent, the large relief carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on the north face of Stone Mountain near Atlanta.  While both of these monuments celebrate the Confederate experience, they are very different in terms of when they were created, why they were created and the messages they hoped to convey.  A comparative examination of these artifacts yields a deeper understanding of the intersection of memory, race and power in our state from the end of the Civil War to our not-too-distant past.

Instructor: Chris Beckmann is in the seventh year of his second tour of duty at SCDS; he is also a Savannah native and Country Day “Lifer” who graduated in 1979.  Chris earned a BA in History from the University of Georgia before continuing his education at the University of Florida where he studied with renowned Southern historian Bertram Wyatt-Brown.  His Masters Thesis “Forbidden Thoughts:  The Metamorphosis of Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin,” traced the evolution of this daughter of a Confederate veteran through her childhood Lost Cause indoctrination and later adult transformation into a progressive New Deal-inspired sociologist.  Chris taught several courses across the history curriculum in his 30 years at Oak Hall School in Gainesville, Florida in addition to his college counseling duties before returning to Savannah and Country Day in 2016 to assume the Director of College Counseling post.  Chris is married to former SCDS Middle School instructor, Mary; he has two daughters and he enjoys live music, cycling, swimming at Tybee, southern literature and listening to Atlanta Braves games on the radio.



(Tuesday) 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Savannah Country Day School

824 Stillwood Dr, Savannah, GA 31419


Savannah Country Day School 824 Stillwood Drive, Savannah, GA 31419