Re-placing regionalisms: Atlantic Canada in 21st century narratives

Smith, Will (2007) Re-placing regionalisms: Atlantic Canada in 21st century narratives. MRes thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Though traditionally mapped as a margin, Stephen Henighan has argued that 'By the late 1990s it seemed that only writers from Atlantic Canada - Wayne Johnston, Alistair MacLeod, David Adams Richards - still wrote Canadian novels; this may help explain the surge in these writers popularity.' This duality of being Canadian and exploring a regional social identity, in context with an evolving global community, is navigated by contemporary Atlantic Canadian film and literature alike. Contemporary narratives challenge both stereotypes and cultural marginalisation by constructing 'authentic' representations of place, without recourse to overt commodification. The strategies developed in negotiating past ideas of regional identity constitute a contemporary regional imaginary. Contemporary narratives conjure a fluid idea of regional experience, open to multiple identity claims and forces of globalisation.

The narratives this thesis examines are both literary and film. In literature the study covers Lynn Coady's Victory Meat anthology from 2003, and longer texts from some of the volume's contributors, Lisa Moore's Alligator (2005), Christy Ann Conlin's Heave (2002), Michael Winter's This All Happened (2000) and The Big Why (2004). The study also addresses the 2006 Commonwealth Film Festival award winner Whole New Thing directed by Amnon Buchbinder. Each of these narratives suggests a different engagement with the tropes of regional identity. The following study identifies how the region is represented and re-placed, as the site of interpretation, the place of performance and an arena of everyday practices. Although it is often contended that Atlantic Canada is not a viable field of study, this thesis shows that Atlantic Canadian contemporary creative imaginaries react to the same pressures and perceptions.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MRes)
Supervisors: Billingham, S.E.
Urquhart, P.
Keywords: Atlantic Canada, Lynn Coady, Daniel MacIvor, Lisa Moore, Michael Winter, Christy Ann Conlin, Canadian film, Canadian literature, Canadian Regionalism, Amnon Buchbinder, Whole New Thing, place-voices, situated knowledges, literary geography, Newfoundland, Labrador, Maritimes, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Janice Kulyk Keefer, New Canadian Library
Subjects: P Language and literature > PR English literature
P Language and literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion pictures
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of American and Canadian Studies
Item ID: 10322
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 15:37

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