Blog Series on Historical Memorials

The Utah State Historical Society is launching a blog series on historical memorials in Utah. We seek proposals for short historical essays that place historical markers, monuments, and place names in historical and contemporary perspective. 

Given the divergent ways the public commemorates and remembers history, contributors to the series are encouraged to evaluate the dominant narratives expressed through historical memorials, to consider memorials in light of recent public attention to race and diversity, and to examine their shifting role and meanings in the public sphere. Since historical memorials do not so much convey historical information as they display the values and worldviews of the people who create them, this series will provide a record of how the current generation interprets and debates past markers, monuments, and place names, and the value of new ones. We hope the series will represent the diversity of thought about historical memorials and will facilitate public discussion about their place in our society.

For this blog series, USHS is seeking short, high-quality submissions. We would like to have proposals in hand by March 31, 2021 (an extended deadline), but will accept proposals and submissions on a rolling basis thereafter. We will work with contributors to schedule the completion and publication of the essays on our blog at UPDATE: Links to published pieces as of March 2022 are available on our markers database homepage.

Submissions will be reviewed and lightly edited prior to publication. We encourage blog posts of between 1000 and 2000 words but will not shy away from longer contributions if the content and writing style warrants it. We consider our blog to be a diverse and far-reaching platform for material that does not fit the mold of a traditional research article typically found in the Utah Historical Quarterly.  

To submit a proposal, send a title and brief abstract to UHQ editors at [email protected].The Division of State History has a statutory responsibility (Utah Code 9-8-203-3) to create and maintain an inventory of all historical markers and monuments and make the inventory available to the public and other public and private history and heritage organizations. An updated version of that database has recently been released and continues to be updated.