Martha MacDonald

Narratives about Language Loss: Shifting Status of Inuttut in Labrador

Supervisors: Dr. Hans Rollman, Religious Studies; Dr. Philip Hiscock, Folklore; Dr. Douglas Wharram, Linguistics.

Research: Martha MacDonald has been a part-time student in the ID PhD program since January 2011, and is at the comprehensive exam stage of the program. Martha is Associate Director of the Labrador Institute of Memorial University based in Goose Bay, Labrador, where she has lived for the past 24 years.

Martha's research interests are in the area of Labrador Inuttut language loss, an interest which stemmed from her MA thesis research on Gaelic language loss in Cape Breton. Living and working in Labrador for many years has led her to examine the process of language loss and revitalization in Nunatsiavut, and she is particularly interested in personal experience narratives about language decline, and the role these play in a sense of identity.

Martha has recently edited two books: The Polar Bear in the Rock: Two Windows on the World, funded by International Polar Year, which uses a legend from Nain, Labrador, to introduce geology to children, and Very Rough Country: Proceedings of the Labrador Explorations Symposium, the papers of a SSHRC funded conference on exploration in Labrador.

Martha is a volunteer in the vibrant arts community of eastern Labrador.

Discipline: Folklore, linguistics, religious studies