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Folk art in Australia: A discursive analysis

Schilo, Ann (1993) Folk art in Australia: A discursive analysis. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Informed by the writings of Michel Foucault, this thesis investigates the discourse on folk art in Australia. Emphasis is placed on exploring the recent emergence of a body of statements that contribute to its Australian specificity.

This thesis considers the various discursive strategies that construct the domain of folk art in this country, including the contribution played by overseas folkloric studies in establishing the field. By using a framework operating under the principle of distance and immediacy, the processes of production and dissemination of cultural goods are examined to reveal how material folk culture is located as a peripheral artistic practice. In this regard, the systems of exclusion that operate within high art discourses to define and marginalise women's artistic practice are surveyed as a concomitant discursive domain.

A study of makeshift furniture is undertaken to elucidate how these strategies combined with processes of connoisseurship are involved in constructing the domain of Australian folk art and the appraisal of its cultural value. In the final analysis, attention is given to the subject of aesthetics and the appreciation of folk art.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Humanities
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): O'Toole, Michael
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