Download the full-sized PDF of Stone Bodies in the City: Unmapping Monuments, Memory, and Belonging in OttawaDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Stone Bodies in the City: Unmapping Monuments, Memory, and Belonging in Ottawa Open Access


Other title
war memorials, Ottawa, violence against women, human rights, Champlain
gender, colonialism,
memory, urban, monuments
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Davidson, Tonya Katherine
Supervisor and department
Shields, Rob
Examining committee member and department
Till, Karen
Dorow, Sara
Gismondi, Michael
Carter, Sarah
Mookerjea, Sourayan
Department of Sociology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
In this ethnographic study of the dynamic lives of a population of monuments in Ottawa, I argue that long after they have been unveiled, monuments are imbued with many capacities to act. Monuments inspire loathing or affection, and settle or disturb dominant understandings of place, nation, race, and gender. I suggest that monuments have these affective capabilities because they operate like ‘stone bodies’ in their urban environments. Additionally, spirited with a certain life-force, monuments have the ability to haunt, unsettling relationships between place, memory, and belonging. These affective charges of monuments are felt and expressed through articulations of imperial and colonial nostalgia, feminist and other activist mobilities and various articulations of patriotism. To understand the affective power of monuments I developed an understanding of unmapping as a methodological perspective. I define unmapping as a practice that attends to the discursive and affective motility of monuments through using methods like narrative ethnography that attend to movements through space, and site genealogies that attend to shifts within and around monuments over time. I focus on four monuments in downtown Ottawa: the National War Memorial, a monument to the French explorer Samuel de Champlain accompanied by an Aboriginal Scout, a monument to murdered women titled, “Enclave: the Women’s Monument” and the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights. I was also inspired by a monument to War of 1812 heroine Laura Secord, and Champlain’s lost-and-found astrolabe to create narrative ethnographic accounts of Ottawa flanerie attuned to representations and absences of women and Aboriginality in the built environment.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 4355353
Last modified: 2015:10:12 17:13:13-06:00
Filename: Davidson_Tonya_Fall 2012.pdf
Original checksum: 1ce6976d96227626e60110aaed818ddf
Well formed: false
Valid: false
Status message: Unexpected error in findFonts java.lang.ClassCastException: edu.harvard.hul.ois.jhove.module.pdf.PdfSimpleObject cannot be cast to edu.harvard.hul.ois.jhove.module.pdf.PdfDictionary offset=2827
Status message: Invalid Annotation list offset=4300387
File language: en-CA
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date