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

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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.)

The religious allegiances of sixteenth-century peasant rebels

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The peasant revolts which occurred frequently throughout the sixteenth century all included an inherent religious dimension. Historians have tried to place the peasants' religious allegiances within confessional boundaries. However, peasants determined their own religious priorities from the variety of movements created by the Reformation. The peasants who rebelled in the German Peasants' War of 1525 were inspired by Reformation teachings, especially the emphasis on the Gospel, yet rejected the exhortations of both radical and moderate reformers. English peasants participating in Kett's Rebellion of 1549 absorbed the Evangelical messages of Christian equality and justice, yet Traditionalist, Evangelical and folk practices decisively influenced their actions. French peasants who revolted in 1561 and 1578-80, during the Wars of Religion, rejected confessional divisions; instead, Catholics and Protestants cooperated. The actions of sixteenth-century peasant rebels demonstrate that they did not simply follow religious leaders but chose their own religious allegiances.

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

Without a “dog’s chance:” the Devlinite Irish News, Northern Ireland’s “trapped” nationalist minority, and the Irish boundary question, 1921-1925

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Between 1920 and 1922 Ireland was partitioned and two new polities emerged: the overwhelmingly Catholic and nationalist Irish Free State, and Northern Ireland, which was largely Protestant and unionist. These polities were not homogeneous, however, and the existence of a small unionist minority in the Free State and a more significant nationalist minority in Northern Ireland necessitated the establishment of a Boundary Commission in order to redraw the border. This thesis is a study of Northern Ireland’s divided nationalist minority and their relationship with Southern nationalists during the period between the onset of partition and the collapse of the Boundary Commission in 1925. While my focus on the relationship between Northern and Southern nationalism is itself unique, “Without a ‘Dog’s Chance’” breaks new ground by demonstrating how Northern Ireland’s nationalist minority represented an example of what Israeli anthropologist Dan Rabinowitz has called a “trapped minority.” My use of the hitherto ignored poetry that appeared in Northern Ireland’s nationalist press also sets this work apart from the existing historiography. Whereas the trapped minority model provides a way of conceptualizing Northern nationalism as a component of the wider Irish nationalist movement, incorporating poetry into the discussion of the relations between the trapped Northern minority and the Irish “mother nation” reveals a new dimension to the feelings of angst, betrayal, and victimization that were embedded in the politics of Northern nationalism. Although this project concentrates on the constitutionally-minded supporters of West Belfast MP Joseph Devlin and the Devlinite Irish News, their border-dwelling Sinn Féin competitors are by no means ignored. While Free State strong-man Kevin O’Higgins was unequivocally correct when he suggested that tensions between the Devlinites and the Sinn Féiners were exacerbated because the former did not have “a dog’s chance of getting out of the Boundary area” and the latter did, this thesis argues that individuals belonging to both political traditions witnessed the diminishment of their nationalist credentials after partition. Feeling under-valued, abandoned, and exploited by their peers in the South, the nationalists of Northern Ireland were also marginalized within a host state that regarded them with fear and suspicion.

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

Zancouver: Iranian women migrants in Vancouver B.C., 1978-2007

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the migration of Iranian women to Vancouver, B.C., between the period 1978 through 2007. One of the most significant factors influencing this migration was the Iranian revolution of 1978-1979, although Canadian immigration policy also impacted the migration of Iranian women to Vancouver during the last quarter of the twentieth century. This study utilizes oral history interviews with Iranian women to analyze the multiple reasons for their emigration from Iran and subsequent settlement in Vancouver. It demonstrates the internal diversity of Iranians in Vancouver in terms of their reasons for leaving Iran and coming to Canada, their political affiliations, religious beliefs, personal value systems, and attitudes regarding class and status. These differences have resulted in feelings of divisiveness and distrust amongst Iranian women in Vancouver and have inhibited the development of a sense of community based on a shared national background for Iranians in Vancouver to date.

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

Colonizing minds: public education, the textbook Indian, and the struggle for settler hegemony in British Columbia, 1920-1970

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the relationship between public education, the representations of indigenous peoples as the Textbook Indian in secondary school textbooks, and the struggle for settler hegemony in British Columbia between 1920 and 1970. In drawing inspiration from Marxist Theory and critical pedagogy, this work shows how education in general and textbooks in particular were powerful tools of a project of colonizing minds. The colonizing minds project refers to the state’s process of manufacturing and manipulating public education to justify and rationalize colonialism and the development of settler society in British Columbia to students as commonsensical. This thesis argues that the colonizing minds project was subtly refashioned over time to reflect the needs, struggles, and changing historical circumstances of settler society in British Columbia during the twentieth century.

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