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

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""Shoot the teacher!"": Education and the roots of the Macedonian struggle

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Education brought nationalism from Western Europe to the nineteenth century Balkans, upsetting the theocratic order of the Ottoman Empire. The children of Christian merchants journeyed abroad for better education and many returned imbued with nationalism and a determination to agitate against Ottoman rule. The Ottoman Empire's structure permitted Christians to educate themselves, allowing the educated returnees to inspire future generations. The educated generations made vital contributions to the revolutionary uprisings in Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria, which led to independence. However, no one nation dominated the mixed population of Ottoman Macedonia. Competition from neighbouring states intensified after 1878 with teachers arriving to vie for the loyalty of the population. This "Education Race" produced new generations of patriots for the rival nations. Additionally, a group of Macedonian Slavs emerged who declared "Macedonia for the Macedonians," and initiated an armed uprising in 1903 that marked the onset of the Macedonian Struggle of 1903-1 908.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of History - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

A crisis of commitment: socialist internationalism in British Columbia during the Great War

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

Historians who have examined the BC socialist and labour movement have generally overlooked the First World War period, assuming that the left uniformly opposed the war. In reality, close attention to archival sources and newspapers has revealed that the war created a crisis of commitment for BC leftists between their commitment to socialist internationalism and thus opposition to the war, and their support for the British Empire and the war it was engaged in. Eventually, the need for socialist internationalism to protect ethnic Canadian socialists led the BC Federation of Labour to elect a new anti-war leadership coalition. This coalition built several new organizations, including the Federated Labour Party and the One Big Union, as well as led the general strikes in Vancouver and Winnipeg in 1918 and 1919. This study is the first to demonstrate the central importance of socialist internationalism to the success of the post-war left.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
M
Department: 
Department of History - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Organizing the unorganized: the Service, Office, and Retail Workers’ Union of Canada (SORWUC), 1972-1986

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the Service, Office, and Retail Workers’ Union of Canada (SORWUC), an independent, grassroots, socialist feminist union that organized unorganized workers in Canada in the 1970s and 1980s. It looks at SORWUC’s role in Canadian labour history in general, and its efforts to organize unorganized workers in particular, focusing on SORWUC’s efforts to organize workers at a pub and a restaurant in British Columbia. The central thesis of this work is that SORWUC’s socialist feminist unionism and commitment to organizing unorganized workers positioned the union as radically different from much of the 1970s Canadian labour movement, and that this difference both helped and hindered the union in its efforts to organize the unorganized. By examining SORWUC from this neglected perspective, this thesis ultimately aims to demonstrate SORWUC’s importance to the historiography of class and labour organizing in Canada.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Mark Leier
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Scarlet and khaki, fire and steel: representations of warfare in British mass culture, 1870-1914

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

In the late-nineteenth century, Britain saw the development of a mass culture consumed by a new public. It was a culture of diverse forms each seeking commercial success. Part of the success came through a celebration of empire that, after 1870, was rapidly expanding. Embedded in this dynamic cultural context was a similarly new regard for the British army as the Continent destabilized and empire increasingly defined power. Formerly maligned and distrusted, the army enjoyed a prominent place in the commercial culture as it fought incessant imperial wars against exotic opponents whose demise served to entertain while the empire grew. Within this context, this dissertation examines how the discourse on warfare was formulated by the adult and juvenile mass culture defined by the illustrated press, paintings, juvenile novels and toy soldiers between 1870 and 1914. It argues that there was a representational convergence on a set of forms drawn from British military history, the contemporary manifestation of soldiers participating in parades and the volunteer movement, and from the colonial wars regularly fought and reported in the press. These sources of discourse promised accuracy and superficially provided it. However, in revealing the experience of warfare the discourse was false. The culture confirmed a normative vision of war based predominantly on the peculiarities of colonial wars and the displays and war games of weekend volunteers. It was a vision that suited the conservative army officer elite and those who were rendering it for sale, but it was a time when the character of warfare was rapidly changing. Expanding in scale and technological sophistication, modern war was becoming ever more distinct from the controlled and familiar image of it. Even the experience of the Anglo-Boer War failed to fundamentally narrow the gap between reality and representation. By occupying an analytical middle ground, this study is distinct from most cultural and military histories.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
J
Department: 
Dept. of History - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

The gendered working of class in postindustrial, service sector capitalism: the emergence and evolution of the British Columbia Nurses Union, 1976-1992.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the emergence and initial evolution of the British Columbia Nurses Union from 1976 to 1992. The thesis argues that class and gender framed interrelated processes of organizational change, labour action, and political consciousness for British Columbia’s nurses. These changes took place in the context of a historical struggle between professionalism and trade unionism in nursing, and during a turbulent and transformative era for western capitalism and the role of the capitalist state in the 1970s and 1980s. This thesis argues that class, as a socioeconomic relationship and as lived experience, was the driving force behind organizational, economic, and political change in the nursing occupation. This central assertion stands in sharp contrast to claims that class has ceased to be of socioeconomic or political importance in postindustrial, capitalist society.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
M
Department: 
Dept. of History - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Being Alevi in Turkey: discursive unity and the contestation of communal boundaries, 1980-2009

Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

This study investigates the ongoing reconceptualization of Alevi self-understanding within Turkey since 1980. Departing from previous historiography that has focused on the centrality of festivals for Turkey’s Alevi community, this thesis examines the way in which Alevis have come to achieve discursive unity through intra-communal concern for three critical issues, namely, the Religious Affairs Ministry, compulsory religious education in public schools, and Alevi houses of worship. This study further examines the deployment of an Alevi terminological repertoire that seeks to demonstrate Alevis’ close affinity with “universal values” for the purposes of distancing the community from the country’s Sunni population. Lastly, in exploring how being a “minority” in Turkey has been complicated due to negative perceptions of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, this study suggests that the case of Alevis sheds important light on the fundamental contradictions of what it means to be a citizen in the contemporary Turkish Republic.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
T
Department: 
Dept. of History - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Cashing in on whales: cetaceans as symbol and commodity along the northern Pacific coast, 1959-2008

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

This thesis traces shifts in how humans related to cetaceans in the late twentieth century. Economic transitions from whaling to whale watching revealed not only a growing affinity for whales, dolphins, and porpoises but also how humans recommodified animals from resources to objects of research, entertainment, and reverence. In the process new cultural and social fissures opened. Cetaceans divided people by class, geography, and race. Views about whales divided over proprietary rights, scientific discoveries, and regional identity. Humans' interactions with cetaceans revealed much about their relationship with nature and with each other. This thesis uses primary and secondary sources, including studies of wildlife and theme park experiences, news media reports, and oral interviews with whale watching workers, scientists, and activists.

Document type: 
Thesis
Senior supervisor: 
J
Department: 
Dept. of History - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

For liberty, bread, and love: Annie Buller, Beckie Buhay, and the forging of communist militant femininity in Canada, 1918 - 1939

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

During the interwar years, friends Annie Buller and Beckie Buhay established careers with the Communist Party of Canada and forged a uniquely Communist militant femininity that led to their eventual canonization by the Party as ideal comrades. Using a biographical approach to women’s working-class history, this thesis examines these women’s significant contributions to the CPC’s political project as gendered work. It also demonstrates that although their representation of themselves as comrades was organized around their understanding of themselves as workers, it was shaped too by particularities of ethnicity, gender, and other factors that were all subsumed in the Party’s egalitarian rhetoric. Additionally, in exploring how their lifelong friendship supported their construction of Communist militant femininity, and thus enabled their work, this thesis contributes to a developing historiography of friendship that focusses on its work rather than its nature, and that is inclusive of the friendships of working-class women.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
E
Department: 
Dept. of History - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Information and allegations of Catholicism in Elizabethan and Jacobean England

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

This thesis examines several aspects of the enforcement of conformity to the religious and political regimes of Elizabeth I and James I against Catholic political and religious opposition. I discuss the means by which royal and ecclesiastical officials obtained information about suspects through the use of churchwardens, spies, private informers, priest hunters, searchers, neighbours and Catholics themselves; why this information was forthcoming; and the reactions of Catholics and others who found themselves under scrutiny. I argue that those persons whose behaviour might be described as opportunistic, or even malicious, legitimized their actions by adopting the anti-Catholic rhetoric and concerns current in England at this time. Whether used as a tactic of empowerment against enemies, or a route to influence and reward, these acts signalled an acceptance of the argument that Catholicism was subordinate and a threat.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
J
Department: 
Dept. of History - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Bearing the seeds of struggle: Freedomways Magazine, Black Leftists, and continuities in the freedom movement

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

A number of black leftists survived the most repressive years of the early Cold War to participate in the post-war African American civil rights movement. Among them were the editors of Freedomways magazine, who brought their activist and organizing experiences in Popular Front coalitions in the 1930s and 1940s to bear on the civil rights upsurge of the l95Os-l97Os. As the African American freedom struggle expanded its support of civil rights to encompass anti-Vietnam War, anti-colonial, and anti-poverty initiatives by the mid-1 960s, Freedomways became an important publication linking several generations of black radicals. In particular, it propagated an influential form of radical integrationism -- deeply-influenced by Popular Front ideology and strategy -- that largely succeeded in transcending the factionalism of the black movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Overall, Freedomways' radicalism helps to show important continuities over time in the black freedom struggle.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of History - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)