SMU & Sixth Floor Museum explore role of politics in history

President John F. Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy

Three preeminent scholars of American history, including an SMU professor, will use Presidents Day and the upcoming 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination as a springboard for examining the changing nature of memory.

Presidential historian Jeffrey Engel, director of SMU’s Center for Presidential History, will moderate a discussion of “JFK, History and the Politics of Memory.” The event takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in The Sixth Floor Museum at 411 Elm Street in Dallas’ West End District. It is presented by The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and SMU’s John G. Tower Center for Political Studies and The Center for Presidential History.

The program features Edward T. Linenthal, professor of history at Indiana University Bloomington, and Timothy Naftali, senior research fellow with the New America Foundation’s National Security Studies program, both of whom have written extensively on the topic.

The 50th anniversary of the assassination presents a unique opportunity to reflect upon the changing nature of history and how it affects our own recollections and understanding of milestones. How has politics shaped our collective memory about this crucial 20th century event?  How has our thinking about the tragedy been shaped by the media, ongoing investigations and the passage of time?  What does this process tell us about what we choose to remember, what we forget and what we ultimately memorialize? Together the historians will explore the role that the politics of memory play in understanding the past.

“JFK, History and the Politics of Memory” is the first in a yearlong series of collaborative programs between The Sixth Floor Museum and SMU commemorating the assassination’s anniversary. This is the third consecutive year both have partnered to present a panel discussion surrounding Presidents Day.

Tickets are $25 per person. A combination ticket that provides access to The Sixth Floor Museum on the day of the event is $35. Tickets may be purchased online at www.jfk.org through Sunday, Feb. 17.

Seating is limited. For more information, visit www.jfk.org or call 214-747-6660.

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About Kathleen Tibbetts

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