You are here

Captain John Smith and American Identity: Evolutions of Constructed Narratives and Myths in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2013
Abstract/Description:
Historical narratives and anecdotes concerning Captain John Smith have been told and retold throughout the entire history the United States of America, and they have proved to be sacred, influential, and contested elements in the construction of the individual, sectional, regional, and national identity of many. In this thesis, I first outline some of the history of how narratives and discourses surrounding Captain John Smith were directly connected with the identity of many Americans during the 18th and 19th century, especially Virginians and Southerners. Then I outline how these narratives and discourses from the 18th and 19th centuries have continued and evolved in the 20th and 21st centuries in American scholarship and popular culture. I demonstrate how Captain John Smith went from being used as a symbol for regional and sectional identity to a symbol for broader national American identity, and how he has anachronistically come to be considered an American. I then show how Captain John Smith has continued to be constructed, to a seemingly larger degree than previous centuries, as a hero of almost mythic proportions. Finally I demonstrate how this constructed American hero is used as a posterchild for various interest groups and ideologies in order to legitimize the places of certain discourses and behavior within constructed and contested American identities.
Title: Captain John Smith and American Identity: Evolutions of Constructed Narratives and Myths in the 20th and 21st Centuries.
23 views
11 downloads
Name(s): Corbett, Joseph, Author
Murphree, Daniel, Committee Chair
Sacher, John, Committee Member
Larson, Peter, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Historical narratives and anecdotes concerning Captain John Smith have been told and retold throughout the entire history the United States of America, and they have proved to be sacred, influential, and contested elements in the construction of the individual, sectional, regional, and national identity of many. In this thesis, I first outline some of the history of how narratives and discourses surrounding Captain John Smith were directly connected with the identity of many Americans during the 18th and 19th century, especially Virginians and Southerners. Then I outline how these narratives and discourses from the 18th and 19th centuries have continued and evolved in the 20th and 21st centuries in American scholarship and popular culture. I demonstrate how Captain John Smith went from being used as a symbol for regional and sectional identity to a symbol for broader national American identity, and how he has anachronistically come to be considered an American. I then show how Captain John Smith has continued to be constructed, to a seemingly larger degree than previous centuries, as a hero of almost mythic proportions. Finally I demonstrate how this constructed American hero is used as a posterchild for various interest groups and ideologies in order to legitimize the places of certain discourses and behavior within constructed and contested American identities.
Identifier: CFE0004666 (IID), ucf:49892 (fedora)
Note(s): 2013-05-01
M.A.
Arts and Humanities, History
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Captain John Smith -- Pocahontas -- Identity -- American Identity -- Memory -- Discourses -- Hagiography -- Hero -- Heroes -- Popular Culture -- Constructed Narratives -- Myths
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004666
Restrictions on Access: public 2013-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

In Collections