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

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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.)

Different drummer, same parade: Britain's Palestine labour department, 1942-1948

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This thesis examines a longstanding object of scholarly inquiry -- the degree and nature of Palestine's distinction from other settler colonies -- in light of two developing fields. Some historians now examine the social history of Palestine; others, twentieth-century British colonial theory and practice. The topic of labour administration in the British mandatory government -- the work of the Palestine Labour Department from 1942 to 1948 -- brings together the two perspectives. The thesis first surveys pressures on British colonial policy during the interwar period and the responses of the Colonial Office and colonial administrators. In particular, policies and programs reflected a growing importance accorded to colonial workers, both settlers and so-called "natives," as the approach of World War II revealed Britain's dependence on colonial stability to protect vital material and strategic resources. As it places the Palestine mandate in this context and analyzes the operation of the Palestine Labour Department, the thesis refers to the example of Northern Rhodesia, another colony with highly organized settler workers and a coalescing "native" workforce. Drawing mainly on British and mandate government archives, the thesis presents the department's aims, achievements, and deficiencies in light of support and hindrance from external political and economic forces and other parts of government. Examination of one protracted and ultimately uncompleted project, an attempt to set up a system of government-run labour exchanges, provides a detailed example of the strengths and vulnerabilities, strategies and tactics, of the agencies and interests that shaped labour administration in the mandate. The thesis argues that the Palestine Labour Department shared in the pressures from government and external forces that commonly affected contemporary colonial labour departments. At the same time, the distinctive characteristics of Palestine and its workforce required a labour department that differed in composition from its counterparts. That difference in experience and outlook made Palestine's labour agency a forerunner of the social service agencies of the succeeding phase of colonial administration.

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

Making space for rural lesbians: Homosexuality and rurality in British Columbia, 1950-1970s

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Rural areas are popularly perceived as conservative and hostile to difference, particularly that of sexual non-conformity. As the growing body of research on non-urban gay men shows, rural queer networks have been an historical reality. Shifting the focus onto gay women, this thesis is concerned with lesbians who lived rurally in British Columbia during a period of rapid urbanization in the province and the establishment of public lesbian bar cultures in cities across North America. Using oral history interviews with nine women who lived rurally from 1950 to 1980, this thesis contributes to the literature challenging the urban-rural divide and utilizes circulation to understand how queers have negotiated space. This work explores these lesbians’ mobility and the ways in which they were integrated into their rural communities, as well as demonstrates the existence of rich lesbian cultures and communities during this era.

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

Furrows of stone: Race, politics and the Alberta Métis land question, 1932-1936

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

In the 1930s, impoverished, landless Alberta Métis united to form a political movement. The aim of its members was to gain title to the land they had historically occupied. The movement’s leaders also hoped to use the land issue as a catalyst to revive a nationalist consciousness among Métis. Viewing aboriginal political organization as a threat, the Alberta government appointed a Royal Commission to diffuse this challenge. Ostensibly an investigation of Métis destitution, the Ewing Commission served as a blue print to assimilate the Métis. This project examines how the Commission, underpinned by racist discourses, was able to redraw the land issue as a failure of the Métis to adapt to white society. By reframing arguments and redirecting blame, the Commissioners were able to justify creation of a land relief program that would not only act as a tool of assimilation but effectively absorb Métis political ambitions.

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

Reconceptualizing the contemporary Ulama: Al-Azhar, Lay Islam, and the Egyptian state in the late twentieth century

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the role of the historic interpreters of Islam, the ulama, in the religious revival that has swept Egypt since the 1970s. The existing literature has generally portrayed the resurgence as having been led by laymen, who were compelled to take on leadership positions due to the growing isolation and passivity of the “traditional” ulama. Challenging this narrative, I argue that the ulama are hardly traditional actors that have been co-opted wholesale by the state by showing how the boundaries have blurred considerably between the ulama and lay Islamic activists since the 1970s, which has led the former to assume increasingly a role of dissent within Egyptian society. Such protest is historically significant not only because it forces us to reassess the role of the ulama within the revival, but also because it raises some larger questions about the very identity of the ulama within contemporary Muslim societies.

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