Renaming commemorative objects is a topic much discussed in critical heritage studies. This set of posts speaks to that issue, with advice to policy makers, notes from individual experiences, and links to the legacy of eugenics at UCL.

Brown Dog Statue in Battersea Park

Protests were sure to follow the unveiling of the brown dog statue in Battersea, London, in 1906 in Latchmere Recreation Ground. The little terrier had become the focus of an anti-vivisection campaign directed against Professor William Bayliss More…

Lessons About Renaming University Buildings

Summary: The argument builds on several steps. First, naming is a commemorative act. These acts support heritage stories. Conflicts over renaming really are conflicts between heritage stories. These conflicts cannot be resolved by appealing to More…

Darwinian Heritage on Gower Street at UCL

English Heritage commemorates Charles Darwin with a blue plaque located on Gower Street in Bloomsbury, central London. The “Darwin plaque” is fixed to the Darwin Building, one of the substantial science buildings of University College More…

Eugenics at University of Puget Sound (UPS)

Colleagues at the University of Puget Sound (UPS) have developed a course to explore the history and legacy of eugenics in their community. This draws on an interdisciplinary team of tutors and some highly energetic students. More…

Edward Turner was a Creole. So what?

A historian colleague of mine asked if I knew anything about the genealogy of UCL’s first Professor of Chemistry, Edward Turner (1796-1837). My colleague said he had heard a report that Turner was mixed race, More…

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