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

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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No, item is not peer reviewed.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.)

L'Alliance Israelite Universelle and the politics of modern Jewish education in Baghdad, 1864-1914

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Baghdad was home to the largest and one of the most wealthy and influential Jewish communities in the late-era Ottoman Empire. The community was heavily involved in regional trade, politics and the social life of the city, and comprised a significant percentage of its population. This thesis examines the many changes that affected this community between 1860- 1914. The Tanzimat reform period, growing European interest and economic penetration in the region, and economic growth drastically changed the way Jews in Baghdad viewed themselves, their place in the Empire, and the way their communities were governed. In particular, the establishment of a French Alliance Israelite Universelle school in Baghdad in 1864 created new opportunities for young Jews, opening pathways to commercial and political success and offering modem educational methods and European culture and languages. The attitudes of the French Jews who opened the school, and the response of the community leadership to this new institution is the focus of this study. The examination of this interaction not only provides illustrations of the larger processes of change and reform that are detailed in the secondary literature on this period of Ottoman history, but also an opportunity to study the interaction of European and Middle Eastern individuals during a crucial point in the history of the world and this region. The Jewish community at Baghdad is the subject of valuable case studies of Ottoman Jewish life in the late 19'~ and early 2oth centuries, as well as the growth of modernity and the negotiation of reform within a matrix of political, social and economic change.

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

Entertaining ethnicity: identity, place, and the Italian festival in Vancouver and trail, British Columbia, 1945-2001

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the postwar history of Italians in Vancouver and Trail, British Columbia through the lens of festivals. It argues that ethnic identities have been constructed at the local level within what is often considered to be a single ethnic group—Italian Canadians—and that these identities were both cultivated and expressed at cultural events. Italian ethnicity in Vancouver and Trail was influenced by a set of variables: the time of arrival, size, regional diversity, and spatial concentration of the Italian population; the role of governments in funding material and cultural projects; rural and nostalgic forms of Italian culture versus those of high culture; Italian participation in the labour market; and relations with the local non-Italian population. These variables combined in locally distinct ways and at Italian festivals took the form of two different historical conversations about what it meant to be Italian in Vancouver and Trail.

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

The Shanghai Mixed Court 1863-1880 – Colonial institution building and the creation of legal knowledge as a process of interaction and mediation between the Chinese and the British

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

The Shanghai Mixed Court was established in 1863 amongst protests from both the Chinese and the British. The court was originally intended to deal with criminal cases that arose between Chinese and British who were living in close proximity but quickly expanded its scope to encompass civil cases. Shortly afterwards, the court also began litigating both civil and criminal between Chinese who operated in the foreign settlement. This occurred in part because there were no other effective institutions to perform these functions and in part because as people learned to operate within its loosely defined structure, the Mixed Court provided an alternative to adjudication for those who wished to operate outside the formal auspices of the Qing Imperial system. My aim is to grant agency and due credit to the Chinese in the development of one of the most enduring colonial institutions in Shanghai through an examination of the court.

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