Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

James Green

Second Advisor

Paul Bookbinder

Third Advisor

Vincent Cannato


In this thesis, the construction of communal memory among residents of Boston's West End was examined after they were displaced as a result of a the city's urban renewal program of the mid-1950's. The elements of the West Enders' vernacular narrative were explored, as were the methods of constructing the narrative. Particular focus was given in Chapter Three to the "West Ender" newsletter, a community-run publication that served as an essential tool in connecting former residents after the West End diaspora and encouraging them to share stories and memories. Also considered was the opposing "official" narrative, as well as the social and political factors that influenced the planning of the West End redevelopment and the principle figures involved in the project.


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