Tyson Rosberg

MA History

Project Title: Resounding Memories: Remembered Connection to the Land Amongst Saskatchewan Farming Families during the Great Depression.

My thesis, “Resounding Memories: Remembered Connection to the Land Amongst Saskatchewan Farming Families during the Great Depression,” will explore the rich interconnections between place, narrative memory, gender, and family life in rural Saskatchewan in the 1930s. This will be an intergenerational study, using already archived oral history interviews and my own interview inquiries into the childhood memories of people still living today. Public perceptions of the period have been shaped by popular history writers such as Barry Broadfood and Pierre Berton, and has also been profoundly influenced by cultural representations of the American Dust Bowl as found in the novels of John Steinbeck, the photography of Dorothea Lange, and the music of Woody Guthrie. Social historians in Canada have been more muted in their explorations of the rural experience with the Canadian Dust Bowl, which had its epicentre in the dry belt of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta; while many new works have moved beyond analysing the political realm of land settlement, relief, and the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture, there remains a gap in the historiography, most notably pertaining to aspects of social life relating to the experiences of rural families both on the land and on their homesteads.

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