Abstract/Details

How far to the nearest arsonist? Representing a national landscape in Great Smoky Mountains National Park


2009 2009

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Abstract (summary)

This study explores the interpretive practices of the National Park Service (NPS) within the context of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). Focusing on a period stretching from 1930 to 1960, I examine the agency's efforts to represent, to the visiting public, local cultural practices. Wanting to make local cultures familiar to the largest possible audience, the NPS framed the cultural landscape as simply one more instance of a frontier settlement. This is complicated by the fact the cultures placed under the scrutiny of NPS interpretation were produced by a population that was driven from the area encompassing GSMNP to make way for its establishment. I explore the material and representational consequences of the NPS's decision to apply the frontier story to the area, and how this relates to larger questions of American nationalism, and its production within the confines of state-sanctioned spaces. Ultimately, I argue that the sense of national identity carved in these spaces requires the material dispossession of actual communities, which are replaced by more abstract imagined communities, geared towards producing enjoyment for the visiting public. This study contributes to our theoretical understanding of cultural landscapes by illustrating their meaning is never locatable in material or empirical forms purely, but is produced though an array of discursive and ideological interactions that transcend a single space.

Indexing (details)


Subject
American studies;
American history;
Geography
Classification
0323: American studies
0337: American history
0366: Geography
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences
Title
How far to the nearest arsonist? Representing a national landscape in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Author
Van Dyke, Christopher Warren
Number of pages
161
Publication year
2009
Degree date
2009
School code
0202
Source
MAI 47/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781109279597
Advisor
Mills, Amy
Committee member
Carr, Edward R.; Kupfer, John A.
University/institution
University of South Carolina
Department
Geography
University location
United States -- South Carolina
Degree
M.A.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
1467371
ProQuest document ID
304994445
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304994445
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