UMass Amherst Historic Preservationists Lead Discussion of Preservation as Social Justice Tool

Bending the Future

AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Amherst professors Max Page and Marla Miller, co-editors of the recently published “Bending the Future—Fifty Ideas for the Next 50 Years of Historic Preservation in the United States,” will moderate a public discussion focusing on the future of historic preservation on Monday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Jones Library, 43 Amity St., Amherst.

The program is titled “Change the Future by Preserving the Past: Historic Preservation for a More Just World.” Panelists include “Bending the Future” contributorsAmber Wiley (“A Modern-Day WPA”), Franklin Odo (“Race and Historic Preservation: The Case for Mainstreaming Asian American and Pacific Islander American Historic Sites”) and Ana Edwards (“Shockoe Bottom: Changing the Landscape of Public History in Richmond, Virginia”).

Miller directs the public history program at UMass Amherst while Page directs historic preservation initiatives as part of the architecture department faculty. With faculty colleague Joseph Krupcyznski and three graduate students, Page traveled to Richmond, Va., in May to assess the possibilities of creating a historic preservation site at Shockoe Bottom, once a notorious market in the interstate slave trade and now paved over in the shadow of I-95.

In a book published earlier this year titled “Why Preservation Matters,” Page argued that if preservation is to play a central role in building more-just communities, it must transform itself to stand against gentrification, work with the environmental sustainability movement and challenge societies to confront their pasts.

“Change the Future by Preserving the Past” is sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Press with support from MassHumanities.