Chaichian's paper, "Contested Memorial Landscapes and the Politics of Memory: The South Carolina State House Grounds as a Case Study," provides a critical sociological and historical analysis of the politics of collective memory and its representations associated with the State House grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. Chaichian analyzed the texts, symbolism, strategic location and design of monuments and buildings on this significant historic site related to the Confederate history.
Based on extensive field and archival research, Chaichian set out to examine the unresolved political conflict over the nature of official (Confederate) and vernacular (African American) cultural expressions, tracing the socio-cultural and political trajectories of two historical monuments that commemorate the Confederate history, as well as the negotiation process that led to the design and construction of the African American History Monument by the State Legislature.
This is the second year that Chaichian has presented at the International Spaces and Flows Conference. His paper is currently under review for publication in the Spaces and Flows journal.
The International Conference of Spaces and Flows aims to critically engage the contemporary and ongoing spatial, social, ideological, and political transformations in a transnational, global, and neoliberal world. The conference addressed the mapping of, the nature of, and the forces that propel these changes.