Marketing Place: Cultural Politics, Regionalism, and Reading


94 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 1-895686-16-4
DDC 306.4'88'09718




Reviewed by Melvin Baker

Melvin Baker is an archivist and historian at Memorial University of
Newfoundland, and the co-editor of Dictionary of Newfoundland and
Labrador Biography.


This monograph, written from a feminist, poststructuralist perspective,
examines the cultural identity of post-Confederation
Newfoundlanders—who they are and how they perceive themselves. A
Newfoundlander herself, Kelly ventures into the world of self-discovery
by presenting an “analysis of the politics of reading Newfoundland
writings, specifically books which are written and published within, and
are of and about, a Newfoundland cultural context.” Her
autobiographical approach is “deeply personal and political; it is an
investigation of the sociality of self and its relationship to books,
reading and cultural ‘place.’”

Kelly observes that recent Newfoundland books reflect an urban,
male-dominated, middle-class perspective that attempts, paradoxically,
to recapture a rural past culture based on a strong oral tradition.
These books celebrated the romanticism of that past; “rather than
being dismissed,” she writes, romanticism “needs to be examined for
the urges out of which it arises. For at least some Newfoundlanders, the
past holds a valuing of themselves they appear not to have secured in
the present.”

Marketing Place should be useful for university-level courses in
sociology, anthropology, and women’s studies, but unfortunately its
highly theoretical approach does not lend itself to easy reading by the
general public.


Kelly, Ursula., “Marketing Place: Cultural Politics, Regionalism, and Reading,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 18, 2024,