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Sculpting a Canadian hero : shifting concepts of national identity in Ottawa's core area commemorations

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Sculpting a Canadian hero : shifting concepts of national identity in Ottawa's core area commemorations

Hart, Susan Elizabeth (2008) Sculpting a Canadian hero : shifting concepts of national identity in Ottawa's core area commemorations. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The topic of collective memory or identity, as manifested in public commemorative monuments, offers rich possibilities for theoretical and analytical study. This thesis investigates the ongoing construction of national identity through a selection of major public monuments in what is referred to by the National Capital Commission as the "core area" of Canada's capital, an area defined by Confederation Boulevard. The figurative monuments studied include, but are not limited to, those located on Parliament Hill as well as monuments along Confederation Boulevard such as The Response (National War Memorial), Reconciliation (Peacekeeping Monument), the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument , and Terry Fox . Beginning with the first monument erected on Parliament Hill in 1885, and ending with the most recent additions in the new millennium, the thesis chronologically traces the identity-building process at work in the monuments through the overall theme of heroes, with specific themes of ethnicity and gender interwoven throughout the chapters. Using the monuments as primary sources, and drawing on insights from a number of deconstructive approaches, among them psychoanalytic and gender theory, I question and analyze the national identity-building process in order to assess how conceptions of "Canadianness" may have shifted over time. I conclude that although there appears to be a shift toward a more inclusive or diverse representation of Canadian identity in recent years, the underlying ideology has not changed significantly.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Hart, Susan Elizabeth
Pagination:viii, 243 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Art History
Date:2008
Thesis Supervisor(s):Foss, B
ID Code:975222
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 15:44
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:39
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