Bormanis, Katrina D (2010) The Monumental Landscape: Canadian, Newfoundland, and Australian Great War Capital and Battlefield Memorials and the Topography of National Remembrance. PhD thesis, Concordia University.
- Accepted Version
The extinguishment of the living memory of the Great War (1914-1918) does not herald the expiration of its cultural memory. Rather, the Canadian, Newfoundland, and Australian cultural memory of the Great War remains both resonant and renewed in the present. Its public persistence and perpetuation is physical and performative alike. Firstly, this is exemplified by the continued custodial care of Canada’s, Newfoundland’s, and Australia’s national war memorials, domestically and abroad (former Western Front). Secondly, it is signalled by the perennial remembrance rituals enacted at these sites each Anzac (25 April, Australia), Memorial (1 July, Newfoundland), and Remembrance (11 November) Day. This thesis, which compares and contrasts the ongoing histories of Canada’s, Newfoundland’s, and Australia’s national (capital and battlefield) Great War memorials, plumbs this phenomenon.
Chapter One charts the erection of battlefield memorials in France to the Newfoundland, Canadian, and Australian 1914-1918 dead and missing. I argue that the Beaumont-Hamel (1925, Newfoundland), Vimy (1936, Canada), and Villers-Bretonneux (1938, Australia) memorials sanctified their sites, according to the criteria cultural geographer Kenneth Foote has established, becoming what he terms “fields of care.”
Chapter Two chronicles the construction of three capital monuments: the St. John’s National War Memorial (1924), the Ottawa National War Memorial (1939), and the Canberra Australian War Memorial (1941). Post-unveiling, all three of these national memorials, I explain, have been subject to a process that Owen Dwyer characterizes as symbolic accretion, which results in the placement of add-ons (plaques and wreaths) to these structures, as well as context-specific enactments within their space (commemorative ceremonies and protests). These symbolic accretions (allied and antithetical) underscore how memorials and their spaces always attract the attachment (literal and figurative) of new, if never static, meanings.
In Chapter Three, I explore the pilgrimage and battlefield tourism histories of the Beaumont-Hamel, Vimy, and Villers-Bretonneux memorial sites, providing extended accounts and analyses of the pilgrimages mounted to mark the unveiling (1936) and the rededication (2007) of the Vimy memorial.
In Chapter Four, I interrogate the process, politics, and potent symbolism surrounding the recent entombment of the remains of an Australian and Canadian Unknown Soldier of the Great War in Canberra (1993) and Ottawa (2000). The resultant tombs, I argue, function as allied accretions to the Australian War Memorial’s Hall of Memory and the National War Memorial.
|Divisions:||Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History|
|Item Type:||Thesis (PhD)|
|Authors:||Bormanis, Katrina D|
|Degree Name:||Ph. D.|
|Thesis Supervisor(s):||Foss, Brian|
|Keywords:||War memorials; Great War; commemoration; cultural memory; battlefield pilgrimage and tourism; Vimy; Beaumont-Hamel; Villers-Bretonneux; and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.|
|Deposited By:||KATRINA DAINA BORMANIS|
|Deposited On:||13 Jun 2011 13:37|
|Last Modified:||13 Jun 2011 13:37|
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