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Title: Feathers and granite: discourse of national identity in memorials to the dead of the 1914-1918 war
Author: Moody, Victoria Jane
ISNI:       0000 0001 3415 4321
Awarding Body: University of Manchester : University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis is an exploration of the memorialisation of the 1914-1918 War in Britain. It focuses upon memorials to war dead as sites which were exclusively reserved for carefully sanctioned and specifically negotiated forms of commemorative activity. War memorials engaged with post-war social space and manipulated its boundaries in several ways. The study adopts a thematic perspective to study the conceptualisation of collectivity through the memorialisation of the war in public places in Britain. It is structured in four chapters according to each theme, and these are: the selection of sites, the performance of ceremonies of unveiling, the incising of text into stone, and the formulation and imaging of bodies. Each theme forms a component of what is identified as a 'commemorative spatiality' which was utilised and adapted in the demarcation of communities according to complex socio-spatial arrangements. The main theoretical approach utilised in this thesis is the spatial theory of Henri Lefebvre, who conceptualised space not as a neural, homogenoeus 'sphere' for human activity, but as socially produced. Focusing primarily upon six memorials the study scrutinises the way in which an image of cultural authority, related to ideas about a 'nationally' unified framework for remembrance, was utilised and adapted by a variety of communities to structure the commemmoration of the war dead and inevitably implied other, unassimilated discourses when produced according to the components of the overaching commemorative spatiality. The commemoration of the 1914-1918 War was broadly predicated upon the conceptualisation of communities according to ideas about place and meaning. It follows that the commemorative spatiality identified in this study has enabled a comprehensive consideration of the ways in which expressions of national coherence, or more diverse and fragmented associations were either expressed or obscured through the production of memorials to war dead.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available