Skip to main content
Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, University of Maryland


Announcing the First Year Book 2023-24

Cover of the first year book

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that the First Year Book for 2023-24 is Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America’s Public Monuments, by Erin L. Thompson, a faculty member at City University of New York. Smashing Statues provides a comprehensive historical account of public monuments, revealing their dual role in both mirroring and influencing America’s national identity. The book demonstrates how these monuments elevate, memorialize, and, in many cases, eventually discredit prominent historical figures as part of the ongoing, often contested narrative of U.S. history.

Recent events demonstrate how public imagery continues to be contentious, as exemplified by the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., with its Nazi symbols and Confederate flags, and the removal of statues that were connected to racial injustice following George Floyd’s murder. Smashing Statues provides valuable historical context to comprehend recent decisions made at the University of Maryland, including honoring the Piscataway people and Civil Rights pioneers through the naming of the new dining and residence halls and and the removal of names from the stadium.

The majority of the books will arrive in early August and they are free to all UMD community members. If you are considering using Smashing Statues in a class this fall, or if you wish to co-sponsor a program with the First Year Book, please send an email to


William Cohen
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Dean