Trudy Tattersall

Thesis: Negotiating Space, Gender and Identity at Home in Settler-Colonial Canada

Abstract: The literature on “home” is large and diverse, but its practitioners seldom speak to one another and the result is a fragmented understanding. Historians of Art and Architecture focus primarily on the design of built structures and construction as examples of social cohesion. Social historians and traditional historians of women’s history have focused on notions of separate private and public spheres. More recently post-colonial historians interpret home as a cultural space tied to larger imperial considerations. Conceptual approaches and disciplinary boundaries appear to be keeping these strains apart, and it is my aim to find a method to bring them together. In order to do this, my research question seeks to connect the worlds of spatial practice and design with history, and thus my research will reinforce the interpretation of domestic spaces as distinctly shaped by the women who constructed, inhabited and labored within them, and that rather than wholly private and separate, these spaces played a very public and communal role in settler-colonial Canada. More specifically, I will investigate the ways in which the domestic spaces of colonial North America, particularly within Loyalist settlements in Ontario and Nova Scotia both structured and afforded the creativity to define meaning for British women settlers.

Keywords: spatial practice; domestic space; lived experiences; gender; settler-colonial studies; North Atlantic economies; vernacular architecture and design

Supervisor: Dr. Daniel Samson

 Find information on my current research on my Academia page.