Hi, my name is Kristin, and I am the barn hunter. That sounds very dramatic and perhaps even a bit cheesy, but if it gets your attention then it worked. Why "the barn hunter"? Because it sounds a lot more interesting than "the barn researcher", that's why. Just like Storage Wars sounds better than "People Competing to See Who Can Make the Most Money at a Garage Sale of Other People's Things." You get the idea. It's all about marketing, and I find myself in the business of promoting barns. Well, maybe not exactly, or at least not yet, but that's where I'm heading.
I have just begun my thesis research on barns in southern Sasaktchewan, specifically in the rural municpalities of the Gap No. 39 and Laurier No. 38. For those of you unfamliliar with Saskatchewan's municipalities, that's the areas around the communities of Radville and Ceylon. For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of this area, here is a handy map:
Here is a less detailed map which shows Radville's relation to Regina:
If you still have no idea where any of these places are, you're on your own.
Why am I studying barns in this specific area? Sometimes, especially after particularly long, frustrating days, I ask myself the same question. But when I'm in a better mood, like right now, I will say, in point form in no particular order, that this is why I am studying barns in this specific area:
- because I needed to study something and barns seemed like fairly straightforward option (this has been disproven).
- because barns are a major part of Saskatchewan's agricultural landscape, and are disappearing at an alarming rate due to their redundancy
- because my thesis supervisor, Dr. Gerald Pocius as well as the head of the Folklore department at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Dr. Diane Tye, encouraged me to
- because I wanted to undertake my research in my home province
and last, not least, in fact most important:
- because I love the place where I am from and I believe that barns are one key to learning more deeply about the traditional knowledge of the people who settled and still farm in this area today.
That in a nutshell is why I'm here.
I don't want these blog posts to get too long and boring, so I'm going to cut it short for now. I know you'll be waiting with bated breath to see my next post, which will be about the "how" of this research project. Before I go, I'll just tell you a little more about me and what you can expect from this blog.
I am 24 soon to be 25 years old, born and raised on a farm near Ceylon, Saskatchewan which has been in my family since 1905. I earned a bachelor's degree in Classical and Medieval Studies from the University of Regina in 2012. I then switched my path and commenced studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland in the Folklore department. I have now returned home for the fall of 2013 to undertake my thesis research. I love farms, I'm bad at math, and I am a Virgo. This will all become important as my research and this blog progress. Here is what you can expect from this blog:
- sporadic posts
- a slow deterioration of enthusiasm for this project
- unbridled gushing about the beauty of the prairie landscape
- lots of barn photos
- lots of talk about barns
- shameless self-promotion
Until next time!