The Power and Ethics of Symbolic Form
Keywords:Dirk Smit, LGBTQ History, Symbolics, Reconciliation
AbstractThis article engages with Dirk J. Smit’s 1986 article “The Symbol of Reconciliation and Ideological Conflict in South Africa.” The author illustrates and modifies Smit’s analysis of symbols and their connection to ideology by way of a case study. The case study explores how LGBTQ Americans have sought to access symbolic power contained within their history. The author especially focuses on the forms that LGBTQ Americans have used to construct historical symbols. These forms are the tactical/ephemeral and the monumental. The author closes with a discussion of whether reconciliation symbolics play a role in representations of LGBTQ history in American society and specifically at Princeton Theological Seminary.
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