History - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Finding Muhammad Qutb: Praising ghosts online, a different Qutbian legacy and Islamic revivalism in the Gulf

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-30
Abstract: 

Muhammad Qutb (1919-2014) was an Egyptian ideologue credited with establishing the theoretical basis for the Sahwa movement (Islamic Awakening) in Saudi Arabia during his self-imposed exile to the Kingdom (from 1971-2014). Although Muhammad Qutb held a number academic positions in Saudi Arabia, he was also prolific writer, orator, long-standing educator and personal theology teacher to Osama bin Laden. The existing historiographic body focused on Qutbian thought has ignored Muhammad Qutb, in favor of his older brother, Sayyid Qutb (1909–1966). This thesis positions Muhammad Qutb not as a keeper of his brother’s intellectual flame, nor as a subordinate, but as a scholar in his own right – with an extensive body of work that remains overlooked. This thesis rescues Muhammad Qutb from the end notes of history by means of interrogating his work within the context in which it was created and offering recognition to Muhammad Qutb as a contributor to the school of thought which bears his name – the Qutbian Ideology.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Paul Sedra
Thomas Kuehn, Adel Iskandar
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The Sultan-Caliph and the Heroes of Liberty: Heroism, revolution, and the contestation of public persona in the late Ottoman Empire, c. 1900-1918

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-06-07
Abstract: 

Drawing on a variety of Istanbul-based print media sources in Ottoman Turkish (Osmanlıca), this thesis argues that the symbolic politics of public persona played a pivotal role in certain registers of the cultural transition from Hamidian to CUP rule in the late Ottoman Empire. This process was manifested through the anthropomorphic representation of heroism and villainy, concepts that were informed by and tethered to imaginings of “ saviourhood”—i.e., whether certain figures were seen as contributing to or working against the maintenance of the health and fate of the empire in the face of foreign imperialism and separatist nationalism. Moreover, it draws on the category of heroism to demonstrate that the veneration of the ruling members of the Ottoman dynasty (Osmanlı Hanedanı or “the House of Osman”), both past and present, continued to influence forms of identification with the Ottoman state in the wake of the Ottoman revolution of 1908.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Thomas Kuehn
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Rogues Among Rebels: Entanglements between Irish Catholics and the Fishermen’s Protective Union of Newfoundland

Date created: 
2017-08-24
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the relationship between Newfoundland’s Irish Catholics and the largely English-Protestant backed Fishermen’s Protective Union (FPU) in the early twentieth century. The rise of the FPU ushered in a new era of class politics. But fishermen were divided in their support for the union; Irish-Catholic fishermen have long been seen as at the periphery—or entirely outside—of the FPU’s fold. Appeals to ethno-religious unity among Irish Catholics contributed to their ambivalence about or opposition to the union. Yet, many Irish Catholics chose to support the FPU. In fact, the historical record shows Irish Catholics demonstrating a range of attitudes towards the union: some joined and remained, some joined and then left, and others rejected the union altogether. Far from being beholden to the whims of clerics, political elites, or the structural dictates of the economy and of region, Irish-Catholic fishermen made their own decisions about membership. Nevertheless, the pressures of class and ethno-religious solidarities mediated their decisions to engage with the union. This thesis uses a combination of newspaper sources, church correspondence, oral histories, censuses, and election data to unearth the history of Irish Catholics’ complex relationship with the FPU, and argues that this relationship is an example of the entanglements of ethnicity and class in pre-Confederation Newfoundland.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Willeen Keough
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

British travelers and Egyptian ‘dancing girls:’ locating imperialism, gender, and sexuality in the politics of representation, 1834-1870

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-04
Abstract: 

This project examines representations of two categories of Egyptian female entertainers, the ‘awâlim and ghawâzî. By situating Egypt’s ‘dancing girls’ in relation to the socio-cultural context of nineteenth-century Britain, it seeks to determine how gendered dynamics of power were culturally constructed and negotiated around these women. Such an approach breaks from previous historiographical contributions to the topic of Egyptian female entertainers by considering the wider implications of imperial power, gender, and sexuality within the politics of their representation. Chapter Two analyzes the cultural significance of the 1834 banishment of the ‘awâlim and ghawâzî from Cairo, and proposes alternative historical perspectives. Chapter Three explores parallels drawn by British travelogue authors between Egypt’s female entertainers and bourgeois archetypes of masculinity and prostitution. Finally, Chapter Four contemplates the impact of Egyptian ‘dancing girls’ upon British society and interprets the typecasting of the ‘awâlim and ghawâzî as indicative of underlying insecurities relating to imperialism and desire.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Thomas Kuehn
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Proxied perspectives: immigrant and low-income women presented to the royal commission on the status of women, 1968

Date created: 
2017-08-29
Abstract: 

Called in 1967 in response to social unrest, the Royal Commission on the Status of Women accepted letters, briefs, and presentations in support of social and economic parity for women in Canada. This thesis engages briefs submitted to the Commission on behalf of immigrant and impoverished women living in Vancouver's downtown neighbourhoods, penned by agents not part of the community being represented. This study analyzes how marginalized women's experiences were framed by "proxied" representatives to the Commission; by the Commission; and by spectators such as the mainstream newspaper media. Though the Commission was structured to accept proxied accounts as directly representative, this study concludes that additional interrogation of the ambiguity or contradictions in these "proxied" accounts was required for the Commission to more concretely represent what Vancouver's marginalized women required for a chance at social equality.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Willeen Keough
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

A time to heal: Medical missions and Indigenous medico-spiritual cosmologies on the Central Coast of British Columbia, 1897-1914

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-07-14
Abstract: 

In the late 1890s, the Methodist Church of Canada established medical missions among the two largest Indigenous settlements of the Central Coast: the Heiltsuk village of Bella Bella, and the Nuxalk village of Bella Coola. These medical missions emphasized the provision of biomedical care as an evangelization strategy, since the Methodists believed that God’s grace and power manifested through their integrated medico-spiritual work. Although missionaries attempted to impose Euro-Canadian notions of health and healing, their assimilatory efforts resulted in an unexpected outcome. Rather than abandoning Indigenous healing, the Heiltsuk and Nuxalkmc recognized the limitations of biomedicine but also its advantages, and thus incorporated biomedical care into their cultural beliefs and practices. This thesis examines the convergence of Euro-Canadian and Indigenous healing systems and how it resulted in the emergence of medical pluralism, and considers how this reciprocal process of exchange affected both missionaries and Indigenous peoples.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Mary-Ellen Kelm
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Neither hero, nor villain: Rudolf Kastner and the Cluj ghetto narratives

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-19
Abstract: 

In 1944 Rudolf Kastner made a deal with Adolf Eichmann to save 1685 Jews from deportations to Auschwitz, which led to one of the most contentious trials in Israel’s history in 1954. Kastner, a civil servant at the time sued one Michael Gruenwald for defamation, after Kastner was accused of being a collaborator due to his contentious deal. The claims that he saved those close to him from his hometown in Cluj, and the fact he allegedly did not warn Hungarian Jewry from their imminent deportation to Auschwitz led to the head judge Benjamin Halevi to proclaim that he had “sold his soul to the devil.” This thesis analyzes the means by which the stories of individuals from the Cluj ghetto, Kastner’s deal with Eichmann and eventually the trial and its political connections were narrowed down into the conceptual paradigm of the ‘victim­hero,’ as well as its wider implications in connection to Israeli and Jewish identity. The conceptual frameworks of identity, the impact of memory, and trauma are essentially used as foundations in order to examine why Kastner was and is vilified. By examining this affair this thesis ascertains how that very process played into wider conceptual frameworks.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andre Gerolymatos
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Reverberations of moral reform: The impact of the racialized construction of Vancouver’s Chinatown on the Vancouver Police Department, 1886-1907

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-15
Abstract: 

The quick succession of Vancouver’s first seven police chiefs between 1886-1907 is a unique example of how the construction of Vancouver’s Chinatown as a racial place had an effect on the Vancouver Police Department. Although claims of a purportedly vice ridden Chinatown were central to the turn of the twentieth century politicians and moral reformers’ desires to prevent inter-racial socialization, these claims had no immediate effect on Vancouver. Not until the reformers alleged the police department was corrupt and responsible for the apparently rampant gambling in Chinatown did they influence the department’s operation in Chinatown. This thesis looks at the process by which this rhetoric reinforced ideas about gambling in Chinatown and influenced the police department’s response to this problem. This process allowed moral reformers on Vancouver’s city council to consolidate their power over the VPD and force the VPD to rigorously police Chinatown. Although the reformers' influence on the VPD’s operations in Chinatown was not permanent, their efforts to characterize gambling as a distinctively "Chinese" vice facilitated their efforts to police social interaction between Chinese and non-Chinese people, and aided in the construction of Chinatown as a racialized space.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andrea Geiger
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The Pawn that would be King: Macedonian Slavs in the Greek Civil War, 1946-49

Date created: 
2016-12-07
Abstract: 

The Macedonian Question has confounded academics, politicians and the people of the Balkans since the nineteenth century. While countries have resolved the territorial component of the Macedonian Question, the critical and confusing problem surrounding the ethnic and linguistic identity of the people of the region continues to be the source of international debate. Part of the reason for this confusion is because the history of the Macedonian Question is shrouded in nationalist polemics. The role of the Macedonian Slavs involvement in the Greek Civil War is particularly contentious and embedded in nationalist polemics, which has impacted academic inquiry. This dissertation argues that the preponderance of Macedonian Slavs within the communist forces during the Greek Civil War influenced the actions of all the major actors involved, and has been a significant factor in shaping the modern Macedonian national identity. Equally important was that the Macedonian people’s cognizance of their contribution to the conflict initially allowed them to pursue political and social objectives that would have been impossible under conventional circumstances. Ultimately, regional and international politics prevented the most idealist sections of the Macedonian Slavs from achieving their goal of an independent Macedonian state. Those elements that followed the Yugoslav vision, which developments in the Greek Civil War helped facilitate, however, did achieve the goal of an independent Macedonian political entity. This dissertation demonstrates that one cannot gain a comprehensive understanding of the Greek Civil War without examining the role of the Macedonian Slavs and Macedonian Question in the conflict.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andre Gerolymatos
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Defending the established order and the welfare of French Canadians from two different perspectives: The Quebec Gazette and the Gazette de Québec, 1836-1840.

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-11-08
Abstract: 

In the late 1830s, colonial newspapers such as the Quebec Gazette and the Gazette de Québec, assiduously reported on the tumultuous events that shook the political foundations of Lower Canada. Contrary to what historians have assumed, however, the Gazette de Québec was not a translation of the Quebec Gazette. If both defended the established order and promoted the welfare of French Canadians from 1836 to 1840, they did so from different perspectives. At the Quebec Gazette, John Neilson articulated a political rhetoric based on individual rights of liberty, property, and security, influenced by the ideas of British constitutionalism. Conversely, Ronald Macdonald of the Gazette de Québec used the religious rhetoric of French traditionalism, which defended the rights of social and political groups. By comparing their distinct ideological positioning this thesis highlights the diversity of arguments used to argue for greater political stability in a time of rebellion and uncertainty.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nicolas Kenny
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.