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

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“The art of manipulation”: British foreign policy in Greece and the declaration of the Truman doctrine: October 1944 to March 1947.

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No, item is not peer reviewed.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

From 1940 to 1945, Churchill's foreign policy in South-Eastern Europe was geared towards maintaining Greece in the British sphere of influence. Even after the election of a Labour government in the summer of 1945, for the next year and a half the Albion's policy focussed on the preservation of British influence in the tip of the Balkan Peninsula. However, in what appeared to be a major reversal of policy in February of 1947, the British informed the United States that they could do no more in Greece, and in so doing manipulated the Americans into assuming support for their interests through the declaration and implementation of the Truman doctrine. This Thesis offers a new interpretation of Britain's role in the origins of the Cold War through its invovement in Greece, and the role that it played in the American's assuption support for British strategic interests.

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

Making sense of anarchism: the experiments with revolution of Errico Malatesta, Italian exile in London, 1889–1900

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No, item is not peer reviewed.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

This thesis analyzes the activity and writings of the Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta in the period 1889–1900, during his residence in London, the headquarters of continental anarchism. Malatesta’s thought and action allows us to study the organization and tactics of a significant segment of Italian and international anarchism. The key concern of the thesis is the rationality of anarchism, defined as coherence between desires, beliefs, and behaviour. I challenge not only the liberal and Marxist traditional historiographies of anarchism, but also more recent social history approaches. Each of these posits the irrationality of anarchism, cast as impossible aims, futile means, or absurd beliefs. In contrast, I regard rationality as a methodological principle of interpretation and a heuristic. By informing my account of Malatesta’s anarchism wiith an explanatory “principle of charity,” I seek to illustrate and contest the historiographic pitfalls surrounding anarchism. In contrast to those historians who view unconcern for practical means, lack of organization, and spontaneism as standard features attributed to anarchism, I argue that the informal and opaque character of anarchist organization and the transnational dimension of the anarchist movement account for the sustainability of its action. I illustrate the continuity and change of Malatesta’s tactics according to circumstances and experience and show the evolution of Malatesta’s thought from an early anarchism inspired by the First International to a mature gradualist view. Through a critical comparison with twentieth century social science, I illustrate the coherence and sophistication of Malatesta’s system of beliefs. Rather than being the endless repetition of necessarily doomed efforts, I conclude that Malatesta’s theoretical and tactical evolution can be likened to the method of trial and error, whereby tentative solutions were put to the test of experience and revised accordingly. In this sense, Malatesta’s efforts were his experiments with revolution.

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

Erasmus of Rotterdam's influence upon Anabaptism: The case of Balthasar Hubmaier

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Reformation historians have long debated the question of Erasmus' influence upon Anabaptism. Research, however, has paid insufficient attention to Balthasar Hubmaier (1480-1 528)' the earliest Anabaptist theologian, and no one has attempted a substantial analysis of Erasmus' influence on him with attention to the problem of influence. Hubmaier's formal theological training and popularity as a preacher made contact possible with humanists and Erasmus. Evidence from his Waldshut pastorate indicates a rejection of scholasticism in favour of humanism and special esteem for Erasmus. He met Erasmus in Basel in 1522 at a decisive point of his religious conversion and referred to him in his later writings, indicating knowledge of his major works. Hubmaier was clearly in a position to be influenced by Erasmus. Erasmus' Paraphrase on Matthew (1 522) attracted contemporary criticism and modern speculation for its supposed Anabaptist tendencies. In an attempt to determine Erasmian influence, this study compares Erasmus' and Hubmaier's interpretations of important passages in Matthew and places them within the context of key patristic, medieval, and sixteenth-century commentators. Erasmus' exegesis of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) stresses prebaptismal instruction in ways uncommon in the exegetical tradition and Hubmaier employed the same interpretation to oppose infant baptism. Unlike most commentators, Erasmus interpreted the parable of the tares (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43) as promoting the toleration of heretics and the same argument formed the basis of Hubmaier's On Heretics (1 524). Erasmus' interpretation of the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:15-20; 18:15-20) deemphasized the primacy of Peter, connected the keys with Christian initiation, and laicized the process of excommunication, but Hubmaier underscored other aspects of the passage. Comparative exegesis suggests Erasmus influenced Hubmaier's interpretation of the Great Commission and the parable of the tares, but not his view of the keys of the Kingdom. Erasmus was not an Anabaptist, nor was he responsible for Anabaptism, but the evidence highlights the potentially radical ramifications of his biblical exegesis and raises again the issue of reception as important to a full appreciation of his legacy. Recourse to Erasmus' exegesis could illumine other aspects of Hubmaier's thought and help explain elements of Anabaptism.

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

'As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be': The aboriginal-baha'i encounter in British Columbia

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

During the mid-twentieth century, the Baha'i community of British Columbia launched teaching efforts within Aboriginal communities throughout the province. Although relatively few of the over nine hundred Aboriginal people who enrolled in the Baha'i Faith between 1948 and 1992 ultimately became active adherents, the Aboriginal-Baha'i encounter is nevertheless of profound significance. The subtlety with which Baha'is presented the Faith to Aboriginal people challenges static conceptions of religious teaching and reveals a key disjuncture between rhetoric and practice. The experiences of Aboriginal Baha'i themselves highlight fluid processes of religious change and, coupled with Baha'i social activism, underscore the considerable role of the Baha'i Faith in encouraging processes of Aboriginal cultural regeneration. Despite such empowering impact, however, patterns of non-Aboriginal cultural dominance encountered within the Baha'i community simultaneously suggest the pervasiveness of the colonial legacy and the potency of contemporary social context; good intentions proved insufficient to fully transform intercultural interactions.

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

Creating a culture of violence: American discourses of rape, murder and “Mexican-ness” from the Mexican revolution (1910-1920) to Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua (1993-2007)

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Reported on and judged by American citizens and government officials, American eyes have viewed violence against women in northern Mexico as specifically “Mexican” events. This paper juxtaposes American discourse from the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) with United States Department of State human rights reports from 1999 to 2007 to demonstrate similarities, differences and continuities in the discussion of sexual violence within these two time periods that connect American views of Mexican violence against women in Mexico to Mexican “culture.” While the mode of representation moves from a racial argument of inherent “Mexican” violence to an argument of a culture of violence, discourse from both time periods work to construct the image of a barbaric and chaotic Mexico, furthering the divide between “Mexican” and “American” within the border zone. The border itself is integral within this context as it stands as the physical and mental barrier between what constitutes “Mexican” and “American.”

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

Harmsworth's girls: constructing identity in the British popular press, 1898-1916

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This dissertation examines the neglected girls’ papers of Alfred Harmsworth (1865-1922). In 1898 Harmsworth ushered in a new publishing venture aimed at a distinctive group of girls emerging in Victorian Britain. The Girls’ Best Friend (1898-99), later re-titled The Girls’ Friend (1899-1931), proved a successful venture, with Harmsworth and his publishing team adding further titles to their roster of magazines for girls: The Girls’ Reader (1908-1915), The Girls’ Home (1910-1915), and Our Girls (1915-1918). While these magazines reflected some of the realities of the lives of upper-working class and lower-middle class girls at the time – including mandatory schooling and paid employment in new occupations – they also worked to create an image of the ideal girl. Negating difference in favour of a homogenous view of girlhood, this “new” girl reflected societal beliefs about girls, with editors, contributors, and advertisers acting as socializing agents. All reminded girls of their essential natures and their responsibilities to domesticity, femininity, and maternity. Girls prepared for this future by embracing consumerism for health and beauty, by supporting the nation and the empire, and by instilling habits within themselves necessary for womanhood. At the same time, contributors also presented the image of a “new” girl that did not always conform to this largely middle-class defined ideal. The “new” girl could embrace the values of boyhood. Girls could go on adventures, pull pranks, speak their minds, and challenge authority figures. Often, the “new” girl appears mischievous, brazen, outspoken, and defiant. These qualities were encouraged and celebrated by contributors and readers rather than chastised. The view advanced by contributors explains this contradiction. All treated adolescence as a transitional time in a girl’s life; girls could embrace the opportunities that existed for them, challenge conventions of their sex, and pursue some level of independence in thought and action. All of this, however, was only temporary. For every feature that celebrated this special time in a girl’s life there was one that reminded her that adolescence was also the time to prepare for marriage and motherhood. Adolescence was fleeting, so girls should enjoy it while it lasted.

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

A global technological diffusion — traditional Chinese tea technology and its contribution to modern tea production in the 19th century

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This thesis will use the tea processing technique in late imperial China as a case study to argue that China was not technologically stagnant, and that Europe was not technologically superior to China until the mid-nineteenth century. The Chinese tea industry experienced technological breakthroughs in tea-processing and preserving techniques during the later imperial period. As soon as we shift our focus away from the machine, look at other aspects of development from a long-term perspective, and transcend the negative Eurocentric view of China, we will see the technological dynamism in late imperial China. This thesis seeks to present China’s technological contribution to the world within a global and comparative historical framework, by arguing that modern European technological and scientific progress was neither unique nor exclusively home-grown, but attributable to the global diffusion of knowledge, especially Chinese biochemical knowledge and agricultural technology in the case of modern tea planting and processing.

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

""I don't get out without a fight"": exploring the life stories of Chilean Exiles

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This project draws upon interviews with members of the Chilean exile community in Winnipeg, focusing on the life stories of Jose and Veronica-a couple exiled in 1976. Jose's narrative of pre-exile life in Chile is typical of the dominant Chilean exile narrative. His story establishes his credibility as a political refugee, concentrating on Chilean politics and the seriousness of his political activity. Veronica, however, tells a very different account of life in Chile. Her narrative is characterized by teenage hijinks, detachment from Chile's socialist project, and excitement about moving to Canada. Her divergence from the dominant exile narrative is best understood through an exploration of her life as a young woman in Chile and her more recent Canadian experiences. Both are essential components to the way she remembers and narrates her life story. Read against Jose's contrasting narrative, Veronica's story sheds light on a profoundly different exile experience.

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

Between nationalism and reconciliation: the Turkish government and the dual narrativization of the battle of Gallipoli, 1923-2007

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the attempts of various Turkish governments to construct two independent narratives, for two separate audiences, around a single site, the Gallipoli peninsula, and the battle that took place there in 1915 between Ottoman military forces and French and British imperial units. Using archival records from Britain and evidence collected at Gallipoli, this study will demonstrate the production of an unusual type of narrative - a narrative of reconciliation - aimed at drawing foreign populations to Gallipoli. Complicit in the production of this reconciliatory narrative, the Turkish government simultaneously constructs a Turkish nationalist narrative of the battle of Gallipoli for its own citizens. This thesis will examine the reasons for and processes of dual narrativization undertaken by successive Turkish governments between the early 1920s and the present, as well as the subsequent, unforeseen consequences of this endeavor.

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

Manufacturing global Indianness: Bollywood images, 1995-2005

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This project has analyzed changing image cultures in Bollywood in the context of globalization of the Indian economy and the impact of new materialism in India. Bollywood melodrama has been transformed not just in terms of a revitalized production, but through a rearticulation of the Indian identity that shows radical shifts from the premises on which modern Indianness was based. The ever-increasing circulation of the films implicates the Indian diaspora as both subjects and consumers of contemporary narratives. By incorporating the context of the diaspora in North America and the rising middle-class in India, this study has analyzed how a transnational Indian identity within popular films is constructing a discourse of global Indianness. It has demonstrated how the expansion of the terrain on which Indianness is being expressed has a considerable impact on representations of Indians anywhere.

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