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Traditional war memorials and postmodern memory

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Traditional war memorials and postmodern memory

Hart, Susan Elizabeth (2000) Traditional war memorials and postmodern memory. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

War and how it is remembered are still timely and significant subjects for many Canadians as witnessed by the recent ceremony to mark the reburial of Canada's Unknown Soldier in the newly completed tomb at the base of the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Although literature on Canadian war memorials is plentiful, the memorials have been primarily discussed in terms of their production and meaning within an historical context. As we enter a new millennium, it is time to look at our abundant heritage of twentieth-century war memorials through a new lens, a lens which does not seek to document or decode, but rather seeks to examine the relation of traditional war memorials to the present time and to discuss them in terms of postmodernism in order to consider the following question: Can our traditional twentieth-century war memorials be meaningful memory markers for the twenty-first century? Barbara Steinman's Cenotaph (1985-86) acts as a nucleus from which discussion radiates outward, and through a series of chapters that address the interrelated issues of form, function and ideology, a theory of postmodernism in the context of war memorials is developed. Chapter Two looks at how traditional and postmodern monuments differ in their use of formal elements including text. Chapter Three considers the ways in which monuments function: as permanent installation; as ephemeral entities such as temporary, traveling, or disappearing installations; and as sites of performance, both ritual and interventionist. Chapter Four discusses the ideologically intertwined constructions of nationalism, race and gender in traditional and postmodern monuments, before wrapping up the discussion in the final chapter.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Hart, Susan Elizabeth
Pagination:vi, 86 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Art History
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Foss, Brian
ID Code:1140
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:17
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:18
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