Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Philip Arnold

Second Advisor

Scott M. Stevens


Charles Long, Columbus, history of religions, memory studies, Ska-nonh, Syracuse

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | History | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


The Columbus memorial in Syracuse, New York was erected in the early 1900s by Italian-American immigrants who hoped for inclusion in the American master narrative. Indigenous peoples, on the other hand, have long recognized Columbus as a slave trader and as the person who instigated European colonization in the Americas. Following George Floyd’s murder in 2020, resistance to colonial and Confederate statues gained widespread support. Using Charles Long’s theorization of the circle and the ellipsis, Syracuse’s Columbus Circle can be understood as an interpretive center in material form, underscoring how the maintenance of monuments to colonialism and racism also perpetuate oppressive master narratives. In contrast, the Skä•noñh – Great Law of Peace Center (Syracuse, NY) can be imagined as an ellipsis. Skä•noñh exemplifies a more equitable approach to memorialization that requires dominant centers and their memorial manifestations to change, entering into relationship with marginalized perspectives that challenge their basic ideologies.


Open Access



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.