The study of the memorialization of landscapes of violence is a vibrant field both within and beyond geography. Previous scholarship has highlighted the contestation that surrounds the memorialization of landscapes of violence as well as the politics of memory that are manifest on the landscape. To date, however, little work has explicitly theorized ‘violence’; this has a tremendous bearing on the understanding of how, or if, certain ‘violent’ acts are remembered or memorialized. This paper constitutes an attempt to denaturalize violence through a foregrounding of ‘abstract’ and ‘concrete’ violence. Through a case study of racialized violence in Greensboro, North Carolina, we argue that geographers and other social scientists must articulate more clearly how violence, as a theoretical construct, is abstracted from the concrete realities of lived experience and represented discursively and materially on the landscape. We conclude that the potential for, and actual realized memorialization of landscapes of, violence is always and already a dialectical process of abstraction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)