Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Fall 2021

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major

Communication: Business Applications

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Lawrence Prelli



This thesis looks at the ongoing issues and debates involving monuments and more specifically Confederate monuments. This issue picked up steam in 2015-2017 with events such as Dylan Roof’s church shooting and the Charlottesville rally and fatal car-ramming. In these times, society and leaders have turned their eyes to monuments. A conversation developed on whether these monuments are necessary and if it is appropriate to celebrate figures who fought for the cause of slavery. Proponents argued that it was a celebration of Southern heritage, the Lost Cause, and the right of self-determination and seceding from an unjust government. Others saw it differently and believed that public space should not be occupied by Confederate memorials and that it was time to move on.

One city that took this issue to heart was the city of New Orleans. The mayor, Mitch Landrieu declared that it was time that these monuments came down. The four monuments in question were of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, P. G. T. Beauregard, and The Battle of Liberty Place. This paper will spend the majority of its analysis looking at the Liberty Place memorial. The 35-foot tall obelisk was located in New Orleans and erected in 1891 and placed on the prestigious Canal Street. The monument celebrates the “Battle of Liberty Place'' which took place on September 14th, 1874. The Battle of Liberty Place Monument was created to honor the members of the White League who lost their lives.

Since its unveiling, the monument has faced controversy and undergone several changes. A handful of major events for the monument will be analyzed and looked at through the concept of dramatism and the work of Sanford Levinson on monuments. This paper hopes to answer the question of how monuments and their image change rhetorically as political orders shift.