The Barrelman radio programme, 1937-1943: the mediation and use of folklore in Newfoundland

Hiscock, Philip (1994) The Barrelman radio programme, 1937-1943: the mediation and use of folklore in Newfoundland. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis examines a Newfoundland radio programme, The Barrelman, as a modeller and promulgator of regional folklore. The strategy of the programme's first writer and presenter, Joseph R. Smallwood from 1937 to 1943 "Making Newfoundland Better Known to Newfoundlanders" is discussed in the context of the political and cultural climate of the time. By a combination of modernist language and sensibilities, and traditional references and language, Smallwood established his reputation as a Newfoundland cultural expert. By selecting, clustering, foregrounding, and interpreting individual items of folklore, he recast meanings and built a national mythos. – The texture of performance by the Barrelman (including his language), and textual items of folklore and national imagery are examined, illustrating Smallwood's rhetorical techniques. A comparatively small generic range was broadcast by the Barrelman, and the genres transmitted, in particular legend, are discussed. -- With access to the medium of radio, Smallwood was able to spread widely textual items and his interpretations of folklore and Newfoundland history. The programme's popularity set a stage on which he developed his later successful career as a politician. Smallwood's social milieu and supportive contacts are examined in the light of the politics of his cultural intervention.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 10659
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 338-357.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1994
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Radio broadcasting--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Radio broadcasting--Political aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Communication in folklore; Folklore--Newfoundland and Labrador; Popular culture--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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