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

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What's so special about the Vancouver Special?

Date created: 
2016-09-08
Abstract: 

During the 1960s and 1970s, Vancouver sought to redevelop its image as a cosmopolitan city. In order to encourage new urban development, the Planning Department loosened zoning restrictions regarding new house construction in an attempt to make it more affordable, and to encourage increased densification. These changes allowed for a new housing style to emerge, which challenged the existing ideas of race, class and power embedded in the domestic landscape. This thesis examines how the construction of the Vancouver Special shaped the city’s urban environment by further reinforcing the class distinctions between east and west side of the city. The affordability of the Vancouver Special allowed many new immigrants and working-class families to create a sense of place in the city. In 1984, the ending of approval of the construction of Vancouver Special became a way of limiting who should live in the city.

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

Pulp Fictional Folk Devils? The Fulton Bill and the Campaign to Censor “Crime and Horror Comics” in Cold War Canada, 1945-1955

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-12-15
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the history of and the social, political, intellectual, and cross-border influences behind the “Fulton Bill” and the campaign to censor “crime and horror comics” in Canada from roughly 1945 to 1955. Many – though by no means all – Canadians had grown to believe reading comic books was directly linked with a perceived increase in rates of juvenile criminal behaviour. Led primarily by PTA activists and other civic organizations, the campaign was motivated by a desire to protect the nation’s young people from potential corrupting influences that might lead them to delinquency and deviancy and resulted in amendments to the Criminal Code passed by Parliament in 1949. These amendments criminalized so-called “crime comics” and were thanks to a bill introduced and championed by E. Davie Fulton MP. The passage of the “Fulton Bill”, however, did not subsequently produce the kinds of results expected and sought by anti-comics campaigners, including Fulton himself.

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

A Darker Face: The ANZACs, Empire, and Race in First World War Egypt

Date created: 
2016-08-25
Abstract: 

During the First World War, over 100,000 soldiers from Australia and New Zealand were deployed to Egypt, with many staying for months or years. This thesis explores the interactions between Australasian soldiers and Egyptian civilians over the course of the war, investigating how the actions and attitudes of Australasians differed from the traditional agents of British imperialism in Egypt, with a specific emphasis on the ANZACs’ peculiar racial thought. The chapters examine (a) how Australasian imperial ideology was significantly less paternalistic than Britons’ in Egypt (b) how the Australasians’ penchant for ascribing Egyptians with blackening monikers affected imperial relationships and (c) how Australasians racialized different types of non-whites in Egypt.

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

"Masters of the docks" or "slaves to work quotas"?: Student-workers in Shanghai during the 1974 campaign to criticize Lin Biao and Confucius

Date created: 
2016-02-22
Abstract: 

In early 1974, the aging Mao launched a campaign calling upon people to study China’s ancient history for lessons to help drive China’s modern revolution. Workplaces became the main locus of the confrontations and the Shanghai docks became a highly publicized site for the theatrical struggles that followed. But Mao had learned from his earlier mistakes and did not want politics to threaten production. When the two competing factions were told to reconcile, old-rebels who had been sidelined earlier were promised a fifty-fifty share of Party memberships. But the hundreds of thousands of student-workers in Shanghai were further sidelined. Once idealistic Red Guards, these young people had since become deeply disillusioned. As they were enrolled en masse to study modern Marxist interpretations of ancient Chinese texts their disillusionment only deepened and they turned their back on ideas of revolution to live very traditional lives.

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

Burn it down! Anarchism, activism, and the Vancouver Five, 1967–1985

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-01-15
Abstract: 

This dissertation investigates the experiences of five Canadian anarchists commonly known as the Vancouver Five, who came together in the early 1980s to destroy a BC Hydro power station in Qualicum Beach, bomb a Toronto factory that was building parts for American cruise missiles, and assist in the firebombing of pornography stores in Vancouver. It uses these events in order to analyze the development and transformation of anarchist activism between 1967 and 1985. Focusing closely on anarchist ideas, tactics, and political projects, it explores the resurgence of anarchism as a vibrant form of leftwing activism in the late twentieth century. In addressing the ideological basis and contested cultural meanings of armed struggle, it uncovers why and how the Vancouver Five transformed themselves into an underground, clandestine force. At the same time, it also situates these five activists into a broad social, political, and cultural context that extends beyond the boundaries of anarchist armed struggle, and beyond the local political environment of Vancouver. The dissertation argues that the Vancouver Five were part of a wider phenomenon of armed struggle taking place across the United States and Europe in the wake of the 1960s. Drawing inspiration from an eclectic mixture of leftwing guerrilla movements, these activists sought to disrupt specific political projects, and expand the militant scope of social movement activism in Canada. While this global context shaped the political contours of the Vancouver Five, the dissertation also argues that their militancy reflected local patterns of anarchist activism, politics, and culture in Vancouver that originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Moreover, the dissertation illustrates that anarchism’s development across the late twentieth century took place through conscious engagement with non-anarchist social movements. Therefore, it maintains that both the Vancouver Five and the broader anarchist resurgence developed in conjunction with a range of activist struggles against patriarchy, militarism, environmental degradation, capitalism, and imperialism that flourished after the 1960s. Based on oral interviews and archival research, is not only one of the first sustained histories of anarchism in post-war Canada, it also the first academic history to focus extensively on the Vancouver Five.

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

“Columns of the House” and Proud Workers: Greek Immigrant Women in Vancouver, 1954-1975

Date created: 
2015-11-25
Abstract: 

In this thesis, I study the experiences of eight first-generation Greek immigrant women who moved to Vancouver between 1954 and 1975 by listening to and contextualizing their oral life histories. Looking at their lives before they immigrated, I explore how these women’s gender experiences were very much shaped by religion, class, and rural vis-à-vis urban locations in Greece. I also demonstrate that many exercised agency in this patriarchal culture, and that they were part of the decision-making process that led to immigration in search of a better life. After they immigrated to Vancouver, these women played an active part in supporting their families’ wellbeing, and some also contributed outside the household, offering their assistance to Greek communal organizations. Differences in class and working careers resulted in different narratives about immigration experiences, although the ideal of the kali noikokyra (good housewife) was consistent in their perceptions of proper Greek womanhood. Middle-class and working-class women also had different attitudes towards charitable work, religion, and the Greek community organizations. Both, however, actively contributed to the survival and settlement of Greek immigrant families in Canada. Overall, this thesis examines how gender, class, ethnicity, and religion affected Greek women’s identities before and after they immigrated in postwar period, and how their experiences of immigration altered their perspectives on the place of women in Greek families.

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

"Allah! Wehdat! Al-Quds Arabiya!": Football, nationalism, and the chants of Palestinian resistance in Jordan

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-11-27
Abstract: 

After the Jordanian Civil War in 1970—which saw the Jordanian army defeat Palestinian guerrillas, the death of thousands of Palestinians living in Jordan and the exile of Palestinian political organizations and leaders from refugee camps—Palestinians in Jordan became politically and socially marginalized. Despite these marginalizations, Palestinians in Jordan always had access to sport. This thesis will examine how the football club, al-Wehdat, plays a role in creating and establishing identity and nationalism for Palestinians in Jordan. By using oral history, I move beyond the narrative of a homogenous Palestinian identity and demonstrate the complexities of Palestinian identities. Moreover, utilizing oral history in my thesis challenges the notion of football being cathartic, and demonstrates how al-Wehdat fans are able to: A) manoeuvre within the stadium, despite being under constant surveillance, B) to continue to use al-Wehdat as a political platform, predominantly through their chants, and C) to develop Palestinian identity and nationalism in Jordan.

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

Understanding the Mughal Book of War: A Translation and Analysis of Abu’l-Fazl’s Preface to the Razmnama

Date created: 
2015-12-16
Abstract: 

The Mughal emperor Akbar (1542-1605) commissioned the translation of a number of texts from Sanskrit into Persian, one of his most ambitious projects being the Mahabharata, India’s celebrated epic. Akbar called this the Razmnama or ‘Book of War’ on account of the great conflict at the heart of the narrative. In 1587 he asked his courtier Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak to write a Preface to the Razmnama. This thesis is a study of that Preface. My thesis is divided into several parts. To begin, I look at Abu’l-Fazl and the Translation Bureau, the department set up by the Mughals to undertake translation work. I then turn to the sources that document the translation of the Mahabharata and identify the translation team. After reviewing the scholarship on Abu’l-Fazl’s Preface, I turn to my larger aims: a translation and analysis of the Preface in order to understand Abu’l-Fazl’s relationship to his tasks as a writer and his relationship to the Persian version of the epic. My aims also embrace allied problems, namely Abu’l-Fazl’s understanding of the social groups for whom the translation was intended and his relationship to emperor Akbar.

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

Danza de la Muerte: Greek Arms Dealing in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Date created: 
2014-09-16
Abstract: 

In September 1936, both General Ioannis Metaxas and King George II declared it illegal for Greeks to intervene in the ongoing Spanish Civil War. This declaration included a prohibition on the exportation and re-exportation of munitions. Nonetheless, members of the Greek Government permitted Prodomos Bodosakis Athanasiadis, a close friend of Metaxas, and the Greek Powder and Cartridge Company (GPCC) to ship and supply weapons to both sides in the Spanish conflict on a large scale. The objective of this thesis is to examine Greece’s weapons and ammunition sales to the Nationalists and the Republic during the Spanish Civil War as well as Greece’s internal and foreign policies that allowed for these dealings to occur. This thesis will contend that high-ranking members of the Greek Government permitted Bodosakis and the GPCC to sell munitions to both sides of the conflict as an economic expedient despite the ideology of the Metaxas dictatorship.

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

Finding Their Voice: The Indian Press and Nikita Khrushchev's 1955 Visit to India

Date created: 
2015-08-14
Abstract: 

This thesis considers Nikita Khrushchev's 1955 visit to India. It demonstrates a correlation between India's foreign policy of non-alignment and peaceful co-existence and domestic concerns about the plight of the majority of its citizens, as Indian elites apprehensive about potential social unrest sought to navigate a course for the nation that would allay such anxieties. It highlights how Khrushchev's trip to India heightened such anxieties among Indian elites, as his rhetoric on development, colonialism, and the West engendered the appeal of socialism among India's poor. This thesis argues that Indian elites reacted to the Soviet visit so as to alleviate their domestic concerns about potential social unrest (and the consequent loss of their privileged position) triggered by the widespread poverty afflicting the country, and to further their foreign agenda, as they responded to the oratory of their guests so as to advance their own aims.

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