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

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Discordant Voices: Vancouver’s Scots Community and the Janet Smith Case, 1924

Date created: 
2014-03-07
Abstract: 

On July 26, 1924, Scottish nanny Janet Smith was found dead in a house in Point Grey, then an independent district south of Vancouver. Chinese houseboy Wong Foon Sing was accused of her murder and the Janet Smith case quickly became a focus for the existing racial tensions in the Vancouver area. This thesis uses primary sources to investigate the reaction of Vancouver’s Scottish community to the death of Janet Smith. It locates the Janet Smith case within recent historical scholarship that separates the Scottish diaspora experience from the British diaspora experience, while also countering hagiographical treatments of the Scots abroad. The thesis examines two seemingly paradoxical Scots reactions to Janet Smith. First, the unity of the Scottish community’s response, symbolised initially by the leading role played by the United Scottish Societies, collapsed under the strain of internal divisions. The Janet Smith case highlighted a fragmented sense of Scottish identity in Vancouver and revealed different civic, provincial and national visions within the city’s Scottish community. Second, this internal disunity existed alongside an unconscious broad range of shared assumptions about power and where it should lie as the Scots patrolled the borders of their ethnic authority against a critical threat from “other”. In this respect they succeeded in preserving a system of “inclusion” and “exclusion” beyond the Janet Smith years.

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

Byzantium, Political Agency, and the City: A Case Study in Urban Autonomy During the Norman Conquest of Southern Italy

Date created: 
2014-05-16
Abstract: 

At the turn of the first millennium, a group of Norman adventurers arrived in the Byzantine territories of southern Italy and within a century had conquered the entire region, putting an end to imperial rule in the Mezzogiorno. This thesis examines the reactions of cities to the Norman Conquest as imperial forces crumbled in the face of their advance. After centuries of Byzantine rule in the region, urban polities had grown accustomed to a mode of government that acknowledged the legitimacy of popular political participation, which may have had its roots in the often ignored republican heritage of citizens of the Eastern Roman Empire. The presence of political agency challenges our conception of imperial authority as tyrannical and unresponsive. In the final analysis, cities exhibited hitherto unacknowledged political agency as they sought to defend their urban autonomy during the transition to Norman rule at the close of the eleventh century.

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

Managing Macedonia: British Statecraft, Intervention and ‘Proto-peacekeeping’ in Ottoman Macedonia, 1902-1905

Date created: 
2013-11-21
Abstract: 

Political violence in Ottoman Macedonia in 1902-03 prompted the European powers to impose stronger reform measures on the Ottoman Empire. This study analyzes British policy toward Macedonia during the Balfour administration from 1902 to 1905 through a detailed examination of diplomacy, domestic politics, and events ‘on the ground.’ The main contention is that the British maintained a proactive and solution-oriented policy within the framework of the multilateral reform process. Importantly, they sought to calm the violence through the establishment of a prototypical peacekeeping force. In many respects, the British approach to events in Macedonia was a successful exercise in crisis management. Preemptive measures to mitigate and prevent a crisis helped prepare the British government for the crises that occurred. When events escalated during the Ilinden Uprising in the summer of 1903, British officials were able to respond effectively and even opportunistically, using knowledge and pragmatism to navigate through the crisis. The British government positioned itself to recover from the crisis in the short term and play a more prominent role in the fledging Mürzsteg Reform Program. The British became convinced that the deployment of European military attachés or soldiers was the key to bringing peace to Ottoman Macedonia. Their ideas for this ‘peacekeeping’ force and a stronger reform mandate was influenced by previous interventions in the Ottoman Empire, local observations in Macedonia, and knowledge gleaned from imperial rule. Under the terms of the Mürzsteg Reform Program of 1903, a contingent of European officers deployed to train the Ottoman gendarmerie and undertake peacekeeping tasks. The relative success the British officers enjoyed convinced British officials to lobby for a more robust deployment and mandate. Although the Mürzsteg Reform Program was short-lived, it stands as an intriguing chapter in the conceptual history of peacekeeping, and suggests that early peacekeeping was the product of an imperial genealogy.

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

Women in red serge: Female police bodies and the disruption to the image of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Date created: 
2013-10-28
Abstract: 

The arrival of women in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in the mid-1970s disrupted the masculine image of a police force that was intimately connected to idealized Canadian manhood and the formation of the nation. Yet, women have been noticeably absent from the historical record of the RCMP, allowing the figure of the heroic male Mountie to continue his dominance in official, academic, and popular histories. Central to these discourses has been the male police body which has been positioned as the only body capable of enforcing the law in Canada. In contrast, this history argues that between 1974 and 1990, female Mounties renegotiated and resisted the gendered interpretation of the police officer as masculine. In the process, the female police body emerged as a disruptive force that challenged the carefully crafted and longstanding masculine image of the RCMP. Oral narratives reveal how female Mounties rejected male standards of policing that stripped them of their power and positioned them as inferior, rather than equal, figures of civic authority. Instead, female Mounties actively worked to define themselves as equal members of the RCMP on their own terms, challenging ideas about women as the subordinate sex. The alternative policing methods they brought to the occupation contradicted conventional understandings that equated brawn and physical strength with effective policing. In response, men of the RCMP who were opposed to women in the force engaged in a number of harassing tactics in an attempt to reassert their power and control over both female Mounties and the masculine image of the police force.

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

Social status, the Patriarch and Assembly Balls, and the transformation in elite identity in Gilded Age New York

Author: 
Date created: 
2013-01-22
Abstract: 

As exclusive upper-class balls that represented a fraction of elites during the Gilded Age, the Patriarch and Assembly Balls were sites where the Four Hundred engaged in practices of distinction for the purposes of maintaining their social statuses and of wresting social power from other fractions of elites. By looking at things such as the food, décor, and dancing at these balls, historians could arrive at an understanding of how the Four Hundred wanted to be perceived by others as well as the various types of capital these elites exhibited to assert their claim as the leaders of upper-class New York. In addition, in the process of advancing their claims as the rightful leaders of Society, the New York Four Hundred transformed elite identity as well as upper-class masculinity to include competitiveness and even fitness and vigorousness, traits that once applied more exclusively to white middle-class masculinity.

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

Parading Anxieties: Drumcree, Sectarianism, and the Contested Production of Knowledge in Peace Process Era Northern Ireland

Author: 
Date created: 
2013-09-13
Abstract: 

The conflict over the Drumcree parade that erupted less than a year after the IRA announced its landmark 1994 ceasefire acted as a lightning rod for the social anxieties being brought on by the acceleration of Northern Ireland’s peace process. This thesis argues that Drumcree provided a significant forum in which the public in Northern Ireland debated and contested the social, economic, and political changes being wrought by the process. It examines the public conversation about Drumcree to show that the mid-1990s saw Protestants and Catholics beginning to grapple with the changing power relationship between them that was a central characteristic of this period, identifying Drumcree as a space wherein the dynamic nature of the sectarian divide becomes visible to historians. It suggests that the perceived significance of the outcome of the dispute led participants on both sides to attempt to influence public perception of Drumcree through the production of knowledge about the conflict, and prompted those critical of the conflict to resist the imposition of these competing narratives.

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

Re-examining Uganda’s 1966 crisis: The Uganda People’s Congress and the Congo rebellion

Date created: 
2013-05-10
Abstract: 

Historians of Uganda have generally viewed the 1966 Crisis in Uganda as an inevitable clash between two opposing forces, the Uganda People's Congress national government and the government of the Kingdom of Buganda, trying to settle colonial-era rivalries in the post-independence era. As such, these authors focus solely on internal causes for the 1966 Crisis and fail to consider the impact of Uganda’s regional and international relations on politics within the country. This thesis argues that the 1966 Crisis can only be understood in the context of Uganda’s new and complex international relations after independence, particularly the consequences of the UPC’s intervention in the Congo Rebellion from 1964 to 1965. It will consider how the government of Uganda’s participation in the Congo Rebellion was aided by Uganda’s new relations with the outside world, and how this intervention in turn destabilized politics within Uganda and prompted Obote’s coup d’état on 15 April 1966.

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

The Evolution of Chinese Graves at Burnaby's Ocean View Cemetery: From Stigmatized Purlieu to Political Adaptations and Cultural Identity

Date created: 
2013-09-19
Abstract: 

This thesis analyzes the practice of racism against the Chinese community in Vancouver-area cemeteries, and how it was modified by trans-Pacific political and cultural forces. It shows how, at Burnaby's Ocean View cemetery, the Chinese community moved away from segregation in the burial place and progressed to burial designs that responded to its cultural and religious needs. It analyzes the abandonment by some Chinese immigrants of their tradition of disinterment and repatriation to China, when they chose to be buried there rather than at Vancouver's Mountain View cemetery. It also argues that the Chinese community of the Lower Mainland modified its own burial traditions in a manner different from anywhere else in B.C., as a result of the wave of immigrants from Hong Kong in the 1980s-90s. These changes transformed the design, architecture and burial practices at Ocean View, and helped form a new physical Chinese identity in that landscape.

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

The golden speculum: a history of the Vancouver Women's Health Collective, 1970-1983

Date created: 
2013-01-10
Abstract: 

The enormous practical changes to women’s health care that have taken root since the late 1960s can be directly attributed to the work of the women’s health movement. Particularly in the United States, the movement relied on feminist self-help strategies including self-education, sharing information, the hands-on practice of cervical and breast self-exam, and the creation of laywoman-operated clinics. Self-helpers destabilized the naturalized authority of the medical professional and asserted that women were the true experts on their own bodies. This thesis examines the work of the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective (VWHC)—the first women’s health organization in Canada to take up feminist self-help strategies—from its inception in the early 1970s until the early 1980s. This thesis traces the movement of feminist ideas across the US-Canada border and analyzes the VWHC’s relationship to Canadian feminisms, the state, and the mainstream medical system.

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

“Livability is the victim of street prostitution”:the politics of the neighbourhood and the rightward turn in Vancouver’s west end, 1981-1985

Date created: 
2013-07-26
Abstract: 

Vancouver in the 1980s was undergoing restructuring necessary to reorient the city towards a global economy in the midst of a national recession. In Vancouver’s West End, the number of people selling sex on the streets had been steadily increasing since the mid-1970s. In 1981 some residents, in order to secure their “right to peace and quiet” and guarantee the “livability” of their neighbourhood, formed a group called CROWE (Concerned Residents of the West End) with the singular objective of driving sex workers from the residential streets of the West End. The legal changes that decriminalized the status of being a prostitute in 1972 had been fought for and won by feminists and civil libertarians in the context of a more progressive political climate and a degree of economic prosperity. In the shifting political and economic tides of the early 1980s, these feminist legal gains were fought against by CROWE’s organizational offshoot Shame the Johns, the mayor, and the police force in a successful push for new laws to more heavily criminalize street prostitution. This thesis examines the new politics that emerged at the grassroots level in the fight against street prostitution and highlights the local role in federal policymaking. This local struggle culminated in the introduction into the Criminal Code of a new law criminalizing street prostitution in 1985. As some gay men, seniors, and straight West Enders joined forces in their successful fight for the streets, their new coalition redefined neighbourhood belonging, ideal urbanism, and community safety through an exclusionary and punitive lens.

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