The Counter-Memorial Project at the University of Alberta


Welcome to the Homepage of the Counter-Memorial Project at the University of Alberta.

The text and images on this website were created by the students in History 389 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in the fall of 2009, led by Prof. Jeremy L. Caradonna.

The purpose of the project is to encourage critical thinking about the ways in which history (events, persons, and themes) are memorialized and “remembered” in public spaces.

The inspiration for this project comes from post-structuralist theorists who argue that a) there are a multiplicity of ways to write about, memorialize, and conceptualize history; that b) there is no single, definitive, correct characterization of the past; and c) that history and “memory” are best thought of as a conversation in the present, about the past, with implications for the future.

With this in mind, the students from History 389 created counter-memorials which respond to historical memorials, monuments, and plaques in the province of Alberta. These counter-memorials further the conversation about public memorialization of local history. Some of the counter-memorials supplement or supplant the information and/or stories that are recounted on historical markers; others negate the memorials altogether. 

All of the counter-memorials, however, offer critical analyses of the values and meanings represented by historical memorials. They force us (the public) to think critically about how we depict the past, and what those forms of remembrance (or oubli) say about us as a culture.

Click on the last names of the students in the course (at top) to read and/or view their counter-memorials.