Abstract

Adult literacy in nineteenth century Newfoundland was greatly influenced by the island’s positioning, first as a colony of Britain, and later as a struggling country dependent on experts, pedagogical methods and philanthropy from the home country and its religious institutions. Literacy efforts contributed to the general “civilizing” of the outpost and enabled it to become increasingly self reliant, at least for select periods of time. This study analyses some of these early literacy efforts, asking critical questions of colonialism, organization, gender, and religion.

Keywords

literacy, history, Newfoundland, gender, class

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Jun 10th, 2:10 PM

The State, the People, and the Colony: Towards a Critical History of Early Newfoundland Literacy

Adult literacy in nineteenth century Newfoundland was greatly influenced by the island’s positioning, first as a colony of Britain, and later as a struggling country dependent on experts, pedagogical methods and philanthropy from the home country and its religious institutions. Literacy efforts contributed to the general “civilizing” of the outpost and enabled it to become increasingly self reliant, at least for select periods of time. This study analyses some of these early literacy efforts, asking critical questions of colonialism, organization, gender, and religion.