Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Angela Smith publishes a book about British widows of the First World War

Dr Angela Smith has published Discourses Surrounding British Widows of the First World War (Bloomsbury, 2012). The book develops a stream-lined version of the discourse-historical model of critical discourse analysis, and demonstrates how this can be used to handle a large corpus of mixed-text data. Drawing mainly on recently-released records held in the National Archive, Angela explores the discourses which surround British widows of the First World War with particular attention to national identity, social welfare and morality. Focusing on two widows, the book encourages their individual stories to emerge and gives a voice to an otherwise forgotten group of women whose stories have been lost under the literary tomes of middle-class writers such as Vera Brittain and May Wedderburn Cannon. The discussion is further informed by a wider reading of 300 other such files, which allows wider observations to be made about the nature of the discourses examined, and offers the most complete possible picture for such data.

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