Communicating Places, Ideas, and Canadian Identity In A Changing World: A Social Biography of Thomas Clarence Cummings, 1904-1996.
Other than at his birthplace in Pittsburgh Township, Ontario, and his lived-in community of North Bay, Ontario, Thomas Clarence Cummings (T.C.) is a relatively unknown presence in the collectivity of those who have contributed to the representation of Canadian identity at the community, regional, and national levels. Cummings left us a prolific number of statements in several media communicating how he perceived who we were as Canadians in the twentieth century. These are examined through an analysis of several stages in T.C.’s “life-path”: as a youngster on a farm in Pittsburgh Township and as a student in a one-room schoolhouse on Woodburn Road; as a young man in North Bay pursuing a career in education and the initiation of a life-long commitment to international travel; as a volunteer in World War II serving in Atlantic Canada; on his return to teach in North Bay and the resumption of his travels worldwide; as a retired teacher, an active artist, and social critic producing reflexive commentaries on society in a modern and post-modern world. In particular, Cummings’ journals, poems, and artwork are connected to his travels and his commentaries about our evolving Canadian identity and our relationship with a global society. His later allegorical paintings, poetry, and writings expressed his assessment of how Canadian society was being affected by modernity and globalization during his life-time. This thesis examines Cummings’ various messages to demonstrate his appreciation of the complexity of the social landscape in his time, and concludes with an assessment of the significance of his contributions in the context of current priorities and concerns in Canadian society today.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/25954
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