Wheeler, Ashley N (2015-09). Heritage, Power & Cultural Memory in Historic Markers. Master's Thesis.
This project examines the many facets of historic marker texts produced by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and their resultant impact on heritage and cultural memory. The analysis consists of two major components. The first component is a content analysis which examines 254 unique historic marker texts from across the state of Texas. This analysis brings forward the major themes and values presented throughout the historic markers and identifies areas in which bias influenced the creation and resultant interpretation of historic sites. The second component examines three specific historic sites and their related narratives in depth. Utilizing the information gathered in the original content analysis this examination looks into the texts as well as the original histories submitted as part of the historic marker application, culminating in a discussion about the differences between the complete history and the abbreviated history provided on the historic markers. The results of this study provide possible implications for the cultural memory as dictated through historic marker narratives. It attempts to shed light on the power held by the THC in the formation of Texas heritage by revealing the narrative force and authority of historic markers. Thus, this project argues that cultural heritage is both created and impacted by the many historic markers scattered across the state of Texas.