Monumental Nationalism

  • Harcourt Fuller
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


A monument is “the permanent structure, building, erections … made at the place to mark the memory of a historical event, action, place or person …”1 As physical structures, monuments are the embodiment of foundational myths, memories, and philosophies, and serve as official sites for the commemoration of war victories and the martyrs who died for the state, among other functions.2 The proliferation of statuary to memorialize a certain sociopolitical version of the past occurred throughout late nineteenth- and early twentieth- century Europe and the Americas.3 The best examples of these monuments are the Statue of Liberty in New York; Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London; the Latvian Freedom Monument; the Liberty Monument at Liberty Square in San Salvador; the Freedom Monument in Rousse, Bulgaria; the Bangladesh Liberation Monument; the Monument of the Martyrs (Maquam E’chahid) in Algiers, Algeria; the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex in Stalingrad/Volgograd in Russia; and the statue of a woman lifting a child in her arms in Kampala, Uganda.


Gold Coast National Monument Postage Stamp Bronze Statue Foundational Myth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    Pierre Nora, Realms of Memory: The Construction of the French Past, 3 vols., trans. Arthur Goldhammer (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996)Google Scholar
  2. Yvonne Whelan, “The Construction and Destruction of a Colonial Landscape: Monuments to British Monarchs in Dublin Before and After Independence,” Journal of Historical Geography 28, no. 4 (2002): 508–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. James E. Young, “Memory and Counter-Memory,” in “Constructions of Memory: On Monuments Old and New,” special edition, Harvard Design Magazine 9 (1999): 6.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    See Stephen Heathorn, “‘The Long Retreat of Stone Generals’: Imperial Memory, Decolonisation and the Repatriation of Imperial Monuments from Sudan, 1956–60” in “Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism,” Special issue, Nation and Empire (2005): 47; Sanford Levinson, Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998)Google Scholar
  5. Michael North, “The Public as Sculpture: From Heavenly City to Mass Ornament,” in Art and the Public Sphere, ed. W. J. T. Mitchell (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Paul Connerton, How Societies Remember (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Maurice Halbwachs, On Collective Memory, trans., ed. L. Coser (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992); Heathorn, “‘The Long Retreat of Stone Generals,” 46Google Scholar
  8. David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985)Google Scholar
  9. Raphael Samuel, Theatres of Memory (London, Verso, 1994)Google Scholar
  10. Jay Winter and Emmanuel Sivan, “Setting the Framework,” in War and Remembrance in the Twentieth Century, ed. J. Winter and E. Sivan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).Google Scholar
  11. 7.
    Janet B. Hess, Art and Architecture in Postcolonial Africa (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2006), 30 and note 75, chapter 1, 184; Cabinet Minutes, May 14, July 30, and October 29, 1957.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Edmund Abaka, “Youth and Development: Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and The Ghana Young Pioneer Movement” (paper presented at the “Ghana in Africa and the World: A Symposium Commemorating the Centenary and Legacy of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (First President of Ghana), 1909–2009” conference, Connecticut College, New London, CT, November 6, 2009).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sarah Stockwell, The Business of Decolonization: British Business Strategies in the Gold Coast (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), 9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rathbone, Richard, ed. Ghana: Part 1, 1941–1952. Ser. B, vol. 1 of British Documents on the End of Empire. (London: H.M.S.O., 1992) li and note 63, p. lxxiv.Google Scholar
  15. 30.
    Roger S. Gocking, The History of Ghana (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005), 132.Google Scholar
  16. 31.
    Milne, Kwame Nkrumah: A Biography, (London: Panaf, 2006) 216.Google Scholar
  17. 41.
    Merrick Posnansky, letter to author, March 31, 2014. See also, Thurstan Shaw, Excavation at Dawu: Report of an Excavation in a Mound at Dawu, Akuapin, Ghana (London, UK: University College of Ghana/Thomas Nelson, 1961).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Harcourt Fuller 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harcourt Fuller

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations