Rethinking the Monument

Future Anterior Journal

Deadline for submission: June 15, 2011.


Theories concerning the restoration and preservation of architectural monuments have traditionally been anchored in issues invested in the recovery of memory, history, and community. In contrast, this special issue of Future Anterior explores a conception of the monument that is not preoccupied with memory, commemorating the past, or recovering a fantasy of lost cohesive socialities, but rather one with its ear to the future, and that is engaged in ongoing acts of becoming, fabulation, and invoking communities to come. In doing so an emphasis is placed on the ‘creative’ and future-oriented aspects of restoration and monuments, as opposed to a conservative return to already given aesthetic, political, and social formations. In other words, it engages the monument less as an idea, project, or concept and more as an act of mobilizing the possibilities inherent in the temporal mode of the Future Anterior.

Essays might examine key historical shifts in the theoretical understanding of monuments leading up to or including our present situation: Is modern architecture antithetical to traditional conceptions of the monument as many have argued? What role do monuments play in forgetting? What contributions did postmodernism make to the theorization of monuments? Do monuments have agency? Can monuments make available modes of memory that are not predicated on recovering perceived lost and organic wholes? What complex modes of temporality and historicity does the monument actualize or virtualize for us? What role do technologies play in transforming the material support of memory, and how can they be made visible? How might we think about an irrecuperable loss, excess, and transformation that is constitutive of monuments and restoration, and is it desirable to embrace these processes, rather than attempting to control, stabilize, or negate them? How does the monument negotiate between quantity and quality, which in many ways is the essential politico-aesthetic question of our time? If death is often put to work in monuments and converted into heroism and sacrifice, how can we be attentive to the death drive that undermines such ideological work? What modes of writing are up to task of thinking the complexities of monuments and their restoration?

Future Anterior seeks papers that explore these and related questions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Papers should not only present rigorous historical research but also outline novel theoretical and critical analyses. Future Anterior is a peer-reviewed journal that approaches the field of historic preservation from a position of critical inquiry. A comparatively recent field of professional study, preservation often escapes direct academic challenges of its motives, goals, forms of practice and results.Future Anterior invites contributions that ask these difficult questions from philosophical, theoretical, and practical perspectives.

Articles submitted for peer review should be no more than 4000 words, with up to five illustrations. Text must be formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition. All articles must be submitted in English, and spelling should follow American convention. All submissions must be submitted electronically, on a CD or disk, accompanied by three hard copies of text and images. Text should be saved as Microsoft Word or RTF format, while accompanying images should be sent as TIFF files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at 8” by 9” print size. Figures should be numbered clearly in the text. Image captions and credits must be included with submissions. It is the responsibility of the author to secure permissions for image use and pay any reproduction fees. A brief author biography (around 100 words) must accompany the text.

For further manuscript guidelines, please visit:

Acceptance or rejection of submissions is at the discretion of the editors. Please do not send original materials, as submissions will not be returned.

Please mail all submissions to:

Future Anterior
400 Avery Hall
Graduate Program in Historic Preservation
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027

Questions about submissions can be mailed to the above address or emailed to:

Jorge Otero-Pailos
Founder and Editor, Future Anterior
Jo2050 AT


Aron Vinegar
Guest co-Editor, Future Anterior
Associate Professor, Ohio State University
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