Hi everyone, my name is Sean Morton, a 3rd year student in the Interdisciplinary Humanities program at Brock University, currently interested in researching early Canadian print culture. My particular focus is on colonial Halifax in the 18th century British Atlantic world.
My dissertation examines the processes of cultural influence, change, and interaction, with a particular focus on the construction of identity and knowledge, and the dynamics of power and authority. Questions of difference, including matters of class, race, gender, identity, and nationality are central to my study. A comparison of the press and print cultures of colonial Halifax, Boston, and provincial Bristol in the eighteenth century are the basis for my approach to the question of regional development and identity construction. Discourse in the early newspapers from these settlements on regional conflicts, tensions within the empire, matters of revolution, modernity, social norms, and national identity demonstrate their differing responses to the politically charged topics of the time. Trans-national comparisons of these cities throughout this period help illuminate the representations and influences of their shared experiences.
My research explores the mechanisms by which the British government used journalism to influence provincial and colonial cultures. My Masters found that regional publishers, rather than being agents of local cultural development, were instead a means through which imperial ideas were reproduced and disseminated. My PhD builds upon this by instituting a trans-national assessment between Halifax and Boston, and extending the comparison to Bristol from 1704 until 1776. Using editorial policies of these newspapers as evidence, I assess how the political affiliations of publishers in the Atlantic world influenced literature, culture, political and social relationships, class and gender relations, as well as the regional sense of identity. Contrasting regions from the perspective of their print culture during this period also provides an opportunity to re-evaluate their histories in new ways. Developing these concepts into a comprehensive study of similar communities throughout the British Atlantic world permits a more in-depth examination of the influences of print culture.
Beyond my dissertation I am working on three projects. The first is a deep map of Willowbank National Historical site in Queenston Ontario. The second, is a discursive analysis of the destruction of Africville in the 1960s. While the final involves perpetually revising a previous research report on the influence of Digitization and digital resources on Humanities research.
Sorry for the relatively detailed and description. I'm looking forward to hearing from others in regards to their use of digital resources to explore literary and print culture projects.