Liberal Studies - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Reveries of a Solitary Biker

Date created: 
2017-02-22
Abstract: 

“Reveries of a Solitary Biker” is a two-part response to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Reveries of the Solitary Walker, in the form of poems printed on a deck of cards and set to music, with an accompanying essay. Both essay and poems consider the difficulties of living an anti-capitalist life, the continued invisibility of much of women’s labour, the paradoxes of daily life, the nature and implications of calculations of value, and the difficulties of sustainability. The piece is intended for performance: audience members will be asked to draw cards from the deck, and the cards drawn will be performed. Each performance will thus be unique, incomplete, and inconclusive.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stephen Duguid
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.

An exploration on the Topoi: How our conceptual frameworks create our world

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-17
Abstract: 

These extended essays introduce the topoi, a conceptual framework that structures, mediates, and organizes our experience of the world. To develop my argument I describe the topoisitic perspective, a way of seeing the social and cultural world according to the affordances and limitations of specific frames of reference. I also explain how topoi change over time as new perspectives and points of view come to be accepted. The argument is illustrated with texts and ideas ranging from Darwinian evolution, to Achilles and The Iliad, Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm shifts, Karin Knorr-Cetina’s epistemic cultures, Anthony Wallace’s revitalization movements, and N.R. Hanson’s work on the conceptual foundations of science.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gary McCarron
Jerry Zaslove
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.

"Life and Death in The Orenda" and "Here We Shall Remain"

Date created: 
2017-06-29
Abstract: 

Aboriginal relations are explored in one essay and one play. Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda contains graphic depictions of violence which proved divisive for readers and critics alike. However, these depictions are both accurate and significant to not just the contents of the novel but to violence in the world. Ernest Becker’s ideas on death anxiety and culture are used to explain the violence as ritual, allowing readers to understand the nature of violence between cultures and to take away positive messages from Boyden’s novel. In a play about Tecumseh, taking place during the War of 1812, issues aboriginals struggle with today are reminiscent of issues aboriginals experienced over 200 years ago. The question remains: how far have we come in over two centuries of shared history? Moving forward, aboriginals and non-aboriginals must learn to live together otherwise the consequences can be destructive and potentially fatal to individuals and entire cultures.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jack Martin
Sasha Colby
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essays) M.A.L.S.

Observations and Reflections: Made in the Course of a Journey through France and Italy 1786-1787, by Lady Aphrodite Macbain

Date created: 
2017-07-17
Abstract: 

This paper is an historical fiction-- a travel journal written by Lady Aphrodite Macbain, an aristocratic English woman who records her observations and thoughts during her European tour in 1786-1787. Three voices tell this tale: Lady Aphrodite Macbain, a twenty-first century editor, Elizabeth Macbain, and the author of this text, Elizabeth Kidd. Elizabeth Macbain introduces the "found" journal, provides a biography of Lady Macbain and inserts historical background information on the eighteenth century, while Elizabeth Kidd (E.K.) provides background information on the cities visited, critical commentary and explanatory footnotes to the text. Included in the journal are the author's own botanical illustrations.Three primary issues relating to the eighteenth century will be addressed: the changing role of women in European society; the emerging interest in botanical sciences, and the role of the Grand Tour in promoting social change. Experiences of three main characters, Lady Macbain, her brother Andrew and her niece Belinda, offer opportunities to explore these issues from different perspectives.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stephen Duguid
Betty Schellenberg
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.

Confronting a Triple Threat: Religion as a Response to Current Social, Political, and Environmental Crises

Date created: 
2017-08-18
Abstract: 

This paper explores how Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si contributes to the spiritual case for holistic intervention in current environmental, social and political crises. Precedents for religion being used successfully in campaigns for policy changes are established using historical examples, including: Tommy Douglas’ fight for public health care in Canada, John Muir’s work to establish a system of National Parks in the United States, and Desmond Tutu’s struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. Similarly, the Pope’s Encyclical contributes to the spiritual case for intervention in current environmental, social and political crises by making connections to shared values that transcend religion. Pope Francis makes the case that by making critical, and necessary changes to social, environmental and political policies through an integrated approach, rather than using the historically fragmented approaches that have addressed these crises individually with limited success, humanity will be better able to care for their common home.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stephen Duguid
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.

Mightier Than the Sword: Women journalists and filmmakers and their impact on gender perceptions and gender equality in Afghanistan

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-12
Abstract: 

In Afghanistan, a significant advance since the fall of the Taliban has been the entry of women into media as reporters, anchors and producers. Media, in essence, have become a battleground for Afghan women fighting to overcome a culture of silence and invisibility following years of oppression. Be it TV, newspapers, radio or even music, media allow for the dissemination of stories that speak to women’s social, economic and political realities. Mightier Than The Sword is a two-part project exploring this social advancement. The first component is a 47-minute documentary, shot in Afghanistan in 2015, analyzing how the work of female journalists has affected gender perceptions and gender equality. The written portion of Mightier Than The Sword is an in-depth examination of the history of the media in Afghanistan and the effect mass media have had on gender perceptions in Afghanistan. First-hand interviews, conducted in 2015, are included.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gary McCarron
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.

Horse Latitudes, Tokyo Longitudes : A Fictional Marriage of Imagination and Experience

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1999
Abstract: 

Horse Latitudes/Tokyo Longitudes is a work of fiction that explores the creative process. During the process of writing, I was interested in the interplay between memory and imagination. The characters are based on the people of my life; the events are based both on occurrences in my life and in the lives of my friends. The characters described, however, are not the people who experienced the events. With the exception of the narrator, none of the individuals characterized in the story is acquainted with any of the others. The events are real, the reactions of the characters are drawn from the imagination. Horse Latitudes/Tokyo Longitudes is not simply the result of 'copying down' my life.

While on a Trans-Pacific flight, the central character begins the story by reflecting on his life. He is dissatisfied with the choices he has made and realizes that he must change direction. Through the narrator's actions and those who surround him, the issue of Western romantic love, the passion that guides much of our actions, is explored. The narrator opts to seek that 'One Perfect Love' to recover from his rudderless existence. Romantic love, however, is a path with no final destination.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Grazia Merler
Department: 
Liberal Studies
Thesis type: 
M.A. Project

The question of morality in the context of faith and reason: Conceptualizing a missing essence

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-07-14
Abstract: 

This project explores the proposition that at present humanity is faced with a crisis of moral consciousness due to the weakening of faith in theocentric world views. Secular reason has failed to replace religion as a primary source of moral authority. The failures of faith, reason, and codified human rights to provide universal moral authority and guidance create a unique historical transitional moment and opportunity for a revision of secular reason as a source of a universalising moral guidance. A set of fundamental moral principles for individual responsibility has been developed, placing the locus of moral deliberation and responsible action for moral agency within individuals. The project examines several moral exemplars that both illustrate and test the moral principles for their viability and efficacy. Future prospects for the model are discussed.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Heesoon Bai
Jerald Zaslove
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.

Hoarding Paradise: A narrative about a play about hoarding

Date created: 
2015-12-08
Abstract: 

This is a two part project: A play about the fictionalized life of Jean McLarty, a pillar of the community and a hoarder and; a paper that discusses Hoarding Disorder, the process of finding creative inspiration in the story of a hoarder, and the yearning for the sacred in the act of over-ritualizing. The play is in the form of lyrical prose where Jean tries to explain her actions and compulsive behaviour through a re-telling of her life’s story. Just as Jean cannot escape from her behaviour, so too is the audience immersed in the wondrous madness that exists in her hoarded reality. The paper addresses the creation process for the play, with inspiration drawn from figures as theatre iconoclast Jerzy Grotowski, Psychologist & Hoarding Disorder specialist Randy Frost and Anthropologist Ian Tattersall. It is also the story behind the story of Jean and how the passion of her compulsions consumed her life.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stephen Duguid
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essays) M.A.L.S.

We, Animals: Parallel Stories of Nonhuman and Human-Animal Oppressions

Date created: 
2015-11-20
Abstract: 

We, Animals is an assemblage of vignettes comprised of observations and reflections of urgent ethical issues concerning our relationship to nonhuman-animals, human-animals and more broadly to Mother Earth. Its aims are to explore and expose our paradoxical relationship with nonhuman-animals, to explore the intersections of animal ethics and veganism with other forms of oppression and exploitation such as misogyny, sexism, racism and colonialism, and to draw parallels between the oppression of nonhuman- animals and human-animals.We, Animals deviates from standard animal ethics by exposing rampant and persistent institutionalized violence in our relations with nonhuman-animals through parallel stories of Nonhuman and Human-Animal oppressions.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jerry Zaslove
annie ross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.