Kirk Savage

(PhD, UC Berkeley) Associate Professor and Chair, art of the United States

Room 104, Frick Fine Arts Building

Phone: 412-648-2405

E-mail: ksa@pitt.edu

During the past 20 years Kirk Savage have written extensively on public monuments within the larger theoretical context of collective memory and identity. His book Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America won the 1998 John Hope Franklin Prize for the best book published that year in American Studies. Since then Savage has become interested in issues of traumatic memory, and has written on the “therapeutic memorial” before and after 9/11.

More recently Savage has broadened his focus beyond the standard 3-D arts of sculpture and architecture to the question of landscape, conceived politically and ecologically. His current book in progress on the memorial landscape of Washington, D.C., reconsiders the key public monuments and spaces of the capital within a narrative of nation building, spatial conquest, and ecological destructiveness.

Selected publications:

“Trauma, Healing, and the Therapeutic Monument,” forthcoming in Terror, Culture, Politics:  Rethinking 9/11, ed. Daniel Sherman and Terry Nardin (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2006).

“Molding Emancipation: John Quincy Adams Ward's Freedman and the Meaning of the Civil War,” in The Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture Reader, ed. Jeannene Przyblyski and Vanessa Schwartz (New York: Routledge, 2004),  262–276.

“Monuments to a Lost Cause: Commemorating Steel in Pittsburgh, Pa.” in Beyond the Ruins: Deindustrialization and the Meanings of Modern America, ed. Jefferson Cowie and Joseph Heathcott (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003),  237–256.

The Past in the Present: The Life of Memorials,” in Reading Rhetorically: A Reader for Writers, ed. John C. Bean, et al. (New York: Longman, 2002).

Art, Science and Ecological Enquiry: The Case of American Nineteenth-century Landscape Painting,” in Recoveries & Reclamations  (Advances in Art & Urban Futures Series, vol. 2), ed.J. Rugg and D. Hinchcliffe (Bristol, Eng.: Intellect Books, 2001), 60–66.

“The Self-Made Monument: George Washington and the Fight to Erect a National Memorial,” in Harriet F. Senie and Sally Webster, eds., Critical Issues in Public Art: Content, Context, and Controversy (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998), 5–32.

Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (Princeton, 1997).


John Hope Franklin Book Prize, American Studies Association, 1998.

Current projects:

Monument Wars: The Changing Memorial Landscape of Washington, D.C.