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

Receive updates for this collection

The broken past: World War II in Ernst Junger's later work

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the impact of World War II on the wartime and postwar works of Ernst Junger. It demonstrates how the destruction caused by the war convinced Junger of the immense danger of technological domination and was key to his conclusion that history had ended. Jungerls critique of the nihilistic postwar world is linked to similar claims made by prominent nineteenth and twentieth century French and German critics of modernity and his philosophy of history is traced back to the ideas of Vico, Burckhardt, Nietzsche, and Spengler. His interpretations of the causes and consequences of the war are placed into the larger context of the shifting interpretations of Germany's problematic past and linked to the ideas propounded by conservatives immediately after the war and those expressed by revisionists in more recent years.

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

Conservative revolutionaries" - a study of the religious and political thought of John Wise, Jonathan Mayhew, Andrew Eliot and Charles Chauncy

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

The careers of Massachusetts Congregationalist pastors John Wise (1652-1725), Jonathan Mayhew (1720-1766), Andrew Eliot (1718-1778) and Charles Chauncy (1705-1787) extended over a crucial period of religious and socio-political change between 1680, just 47 years after the first settlement of Massachusetts, and 1787, only four years after American independence. Detailed study of the four New England ministers thus provides a unique opportunity for consideration of important historical issues, including: 1), causal connections between religious thought and activity and the origins of the American Revolution; 2), 18th century meanings and understandings of the key concept of liberty; and 3), the extent to which allegedly more liberal theological thinkers directly influenced revolutionary ideology in 18th century New England. This dissertation is the first work to compare and contrast the lives and ideas of all four influential Massachusetts ministers in ways that facilitate direct contributions to these important areas of academic debate. Beginning with an account of Wise, which serves as an historical benchmark for those of the three later figures, it does so primarily through individual case studies of them and through substantial reinterpretations of their intellectual legacies. The major new conclusions to emerge from this study are that Wise, Mayhew, Eliot and Chauncy were more conservative figures than scholars have often portrayed and that a traditionalist, dissenting, Protestant worldview was more significant in shaping their religious and political thought than contemporary philosophical influences. Their understandings of liberty, which were foundationally spiritual in origin and definition, were central to this Weltanschauung. They thus provide clear evidence of the extent to which the four ministers' "revolutionary" ideas and inclinations, such as they were, were arguably consistent with those of many similar intellectual leaders in 18th century New England, in that they were stimulated and informed more by religious than by strictly political motivations and concerns.

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

Blurring boundaries: The transmission of millennial information across the seventeenth-century Judeo-Christian frontier

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This study explores the manner in which religious ideas transcended political, geographical, linguistic, and religious frontiers in the seventeenth century. Focusing on the Judaic Sabbatian movement in the Ottoman Empire and the Christian Fifth Monarchy Men in England, this project examines the networks of communication that merch ants, diplomats, and millenarians utilized in order to spread millennial news between these two locations and groups. As such, this study blurs the boundary between the Sabbatian movement and Fifth Monarchy Men by highlighting their interconnections and simultaneously provides insight into early-modern cross-religious interactions and globalization.

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

Discourses and practices of isolation in the implementation of health care in Ste. Therese's Hospital, Chesterfield Inlet, 1929-1958

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the mid-twentieth-century implementation of health care in Canada?s Eastern Arctic by applying insights from a growing body of literature on space, medicine and colonialism to a specific case study, the history of Ste. Therese?s Hospital in Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk) from 1929 to 1958. Using records from Oblate missionaries, biomedical doctors and government employees, I argue that non-Inuit discourses framed the hospital as both an isolated and an isolating space, distant from ?proper? health care conditions but still useful for separating bodies and diseases in familiar ways. In doing so, I argue that these discourses produced certain spatial relationships as either healthy or diseased, thus shaping medical practices in, around and through the hospital. This thesis identifies space as an important factor shaping health care provision, emphasizes the complexities of Northern colonial discourses, and negotiates the subtleties of isolation as a concept in Canadian Arctic medical history.

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

Urban reform, rebeldismo, and Mexico's University City, 1945-1958

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This thesis contrasts the discursive formations of Mexico City's University City during the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s with the lived, social experience of its space by the university students. The University City was a utopian project, designed in an inverse relationship to the unplanned and chaotically expanding Mexico City; it was also intended to contain and isolate student dissent (rebeldismo), perceived as a threat to social order and political stability. Planners, architects, muralists, and government and university sponsors attempted to create a new cultural community, the comunidad universitaria, by projecting the social uses of the physical spaces and buildings of the modernist campus within the newly implemented legal framework of the Organic Law (1944). This thesis contributes to a growing multi-disciplinary literature concerned with how human behaviour and subjectivities are influenced by the urban milieu and, conversely, how these paradigms, in turn, give shape to the urban environments.

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

Unequal participants: Race and space in the interracial interactions of the Cariboo gold fields, 1860-1871

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

Contrary to traditional historiography, the Cariboo region of British Columbia was the site of complex interracial interactions involving Chinese, White, Black, and Native participants during the gold field period from 1860-1 871. The presence of three subregions within the Cariboo; the hinterland, gold towns, and mines, explains the complexity of these interactions. Different social norms characterized and shaped the nature of interracial interactions in each sub-region. In the hinterland, a diversity of economies ensured that interracial interactions took place without the White dominance that characterized the towns and mines. Elite Whites attempted to create the towns as an idealized space through the application of social norms that reinforced their power. Finally, a community of gold miners dominated by working class Whites attempted to dictate social norms, and therefore interracial interactions, in the mines. In each of these spaces, interracial interactions responded to the power relationships present in sometimes contradictory ways.

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

From Harbour to Harvest: The Diverse Paths of Japanese-Canadians to Landownership, Farming, and the Making of Community in the Fraser Valley, 1904-1942

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

From 1904 and 1942, over 2000 Japanese-Canadians settled in the farming communities of Mission and Maple Ridge in British Columbia, Canada. Most first generation Japanese-Canadians, or issei, came to farming after working an average of ten years as labourers, mainly in the resource industries. Drawing on a database of 135 farmers, this study looks at the occupational paths of issei men and women to landownership, farming, and the making of community. It argues that the occupational choices reflect, first, their resistance to the oppressive and discriminatory policies and attitudes of the dominant white society and, second, their assertion of control over their own lives and over the shaping of their rural transnational communities. The first chapter reviews the historiography and background to Japanese- Canadian settlement of the Fraser Valley with an emphasis on the social, cultural, and ethnic contexts. This gradual movement reflected the response of the issei to their experience of work and life in Canada prior to becoming landowning farmers. The second chapter focuses on the occupational paths of issei men and their reasons for gravitating to landownership and farming. It draws on their experience and choices as individuals who were part of a marginalized and racialized visible minority. The third chapter examines the diverse and difficult occupational paths of issei women who shared fully in the establishment and maintenance of the family farm. It also discusses ways in which issei women contributed to the development of Fraser Valley communities and participated in the translation and negotiation of culture within rural society. The final chapter looks at the making of community in the Fraser Valley as an outgrowth of occupational paths and an ongoing dynamic process that was subject to the guidance of issei leaders who spoke English and understood Canadian culture. Occupational paths continued to change and expand to meet the needs of both family and community. Further, the economic interdependence that developed between issei and white farmers, mainly through marketing cooperatives, promoted ongoing interaction, cultural overlap, and cooperation.

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

"A Funny Kind of Englishman": Representations on South Asians in British Cinema in the Films of Hanif Kureishi

Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

Britain's direct power over India and Pakistan might have ceased in 1947, yet their control over the "Jewel in the Crown" in popular media lasted for almost another forty years. While images of the subcontinent and its peoples are still prominent in British cinema today, it was not until the 1980s that South Asians were able to represent their own communities on the screen and thus break Britain's hegemonic control over the presentation of Indians and Pakistanis. Films about Anglo-Asian relations were quite popular in the 1970s and 1980s with films such as A Passage to India (1984) and Gandhi (1982), yet these movies showed the conflicts between these cultures as being the subject of history. My Beautiful Laundrette, however, showed the tension between English and Pakistani residents in modem London. Hanif Kureishi's screenplay brought South Asian issues to the forefront of popular culture with insight, wit, and a desire to shock. His first film noted the tenacity of the Pakistani business community, with the members being strangely akin to Thatcherites as they pursued wealth over community improvement. As one character states "But we're professional businessmen. Not professional Pakistanis. There's no race question in the new enterprise culture." Kureishi's other films, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), The Buddha of Suburbia (1993), and My Son the Fanatic (1987) document the political, domestic, and religious issues faced by Britain's South Asian community from the 1970s to the 1990s. While Kureishi's screenplays address Pakistani and Indian issues in modern Britain, Kureishi relies on traditional English conventions and beliefs which occasionally undermine the issues he is addressing. Moreover, Kureishi's half-English background problematizes his suitability as a presenter of South Asian issues as his stories frequently conform to his own liberal English doctrine. Despite Kureishi's suitability as a "community spokesman", his films are important documents of the relations between the dominant English culture and the emergence of a vibrant South Asian culture. As Hanif Kureishi is representing South Asian issues to an English audience with English conventions, he is indeed, like one of his characters, is a "funny kind of Englishman."

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

Modern men : taking risks and making masculinity in the postwar years

Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Dept. of History) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)