Talk of the town: small-town narrative in twentieth-century American cultural production

Carroll, William (2022). Talk of the town: small-town narrative in twentieth-century American cultural production. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis contends that small-town narrative exists as a discrete form in historic and contemporary American cultural production, and that its codification occurred in and around the interwar period. By parsing this narrative into four distinct themes – orality, spatiality, migration and mobility, and ritual and routine – I argue that small-town America, a ubiquitous community construct in American culture, endures because of its narrative accessibility, familiarity, and usefulness as a focaliser of both inclusive and exclusive American identity and experience. Developing contemporary American studies and cultural social geography, ‘Talk of the Town’ interrogates the national fascination with small-town America in textual and visual representation through the lens of genre, concluding that in both its dominant and counter modes there is a common syntax and language through which it is articulated.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: Other
Other Funders: College of Arts & Law, University of Birmingham
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F001 United States local history
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature


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