Nineteenth century Anglo-American Cultural History
B.A. (Hons.), University of Guelph
M.A. Queen's University
My PhD thesis at Queen's will investigate the Anglo-Canadian Loyalist tradition in relation to gendered assertion, class politics, national identity, and Victorian culture. Following the linguistic turn and recent Canadian works in commemoration and memory, I want to investigate Loyalism as a discursive cultural system that created an 'imagined' sense of Canadian community that was both constituent of and autonomous from underlying social realities of class, gender, and region. Creative discursive practices and recurrent Loyalist motifs—monarchy, sacrifice, heroism, survival—'imagined' a Canada that people could believe in (often on their own terms). This is to position the Ontario historical societies movement in conversation with a range of inter-disciplinary concerns: from nationalism theory (the development of the modern state and its cultural infrastructure), to the inculcation of liberal personhood (McKay's liberal order framework), to issues of the romantic sublime (the nation as 'natural essence' and gendered idiom). This will hopefully explicate how liberal personhood and the rise of the modern state were intimately associated with romanticism and moral purity movements in the late-nineteenth century.