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A Study of the Generative Relationship Between Live Performance and Collective Remembering in Western Australian Settler Society, 1839 to 1899.

Dunstone, William John Louis (2009) A Study of the Generative Relationship Between Live Performance and Collective Remembering in Western Australian Settler Society, 1839 to 1899. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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      Abstract

      This thesis makes a theoretical intervention into debates about the interrelationship of performance with remembering; and analyses performance as a specific instance of distributed collective remembering in colonial Western Australia during the period from 1839 to 1899. It brings new archival data to an analysis of the transmission of British culture through performance events in the colony. This transmission was a double process, in which performance heritage played a significant part in the development of a West Australian identification and sense of place.

      The first part of the thesis delimits the topic and the interdisciplinary approach I take to it. It then conceptualises the generative links between performance and collective memory in relation to prior philosophical concepts of place and space. It next relates these concepts to social and cultural praxis, culminating with five case studies of colonial Western Australian performances.

      I argue that colonial performance is symptomatic of a wider modern crisis of remembering that was embedded in specifically Western Australian matrices of gender, class, and race. The case studies analyse the function of microcosmic place-worlds enacted through doublets of imaginative thinking and future remembering, acculturation and cultural amnesia, within colonial performance.

      Publication Type: Thesis (PhD)
      Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
      Supervisor: Grehan, Helena and Layman, Lenore
      URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/2869
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