'Look on my works ye mighty…’: iconoclasm, education and the fate of statues

Davis, R. A. (2021) 'Look on my works ye mighty…’: iconoclasm, education and the fate of statues. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 55(3), pp. 534-544. (doi: 10.1111/1467-9752.12579)

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In pursuit of an alternative perspective on the so-called ‘statues controversy’, this essay brings recent interpretations of the enduring ‘power’, ‘gaze’ and ‘magic’ of statues into alignment with critical histories of iconoclasm, sacred and secular, and New Materialist accounts of our multiple entanglements with the object histories of inherited monuments. Opening with a close reading of Percy Bysshe Shelley's renowned 1818 sonnet, ‘Ozymandias’, the essay applies the resultant theoretical synthesis to argue for the general restraint of popular iconoclastic and demolitionary acts and largely to caution against the mimetic violence of statue removal in favour of fresh, educative and iconotropic ways of ‘making legible’, and ‘re-reading’, statues, pedestals, inscriptions and their diverse contexts past and present.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Davis, Professor Robert
Authors: Davis, R. A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > People, Place & Social Change
Journal Name:Journal of Philosophy of Education
ISSN (Online):1467-9752
Published Online:12 September 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Author
First Published:First published in Journal of Philosophy of Education 55(3): 534-544
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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