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“Just like coming home” Lois Barnes’ use of narrative as surrogate for her lost homeland

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dc.contributor.advisor Smith, Paul Perkins-High, Mac 2017-09-01T13:42:30Z 2017-09-01T13:42:30Z 2017
dc.description.abstract In order to begin the 1938 construction of Massachusetts’ Quabbin Reservoir, the four rural towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott were dis-incorporated, depopulated, and razed. Four and a half decades later, Lois Doubleday Barnes, one of the displaced Quabbin people, became the primary interviewer in an extensive oral history project, conducting more than 200 hours of interviews with her fellow ex-citizens. It is these interviews which form the backbone of my research as I probe into how Lois Barnes and her community members remember and discuss their lost homes. I will be presenting a biography of Barnes, and particularly a biography of Barnes in her assumed role as oral historian, arguing that the interviews she performed are intimately tied to a personal psychology of loss. I will furthermore be arguing that this loss is acutely evident, not just within Barnes, but within those she interviews, and that the conversations they have act as a way to offset their loss of homeland. The central insight of my paper is that, for these displaced people, stories can act as proxy for geography, and that homeland has been replaced by memories and tales.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of History
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.title “Just like coming home” Lois Barnes’ use of narrative as surrogate for her lost homeland
dc.type Thesis en
dc.rights.access Open Access

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