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

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Chef as artist: the relationship of artist, art, and audience in Babette's feast

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No, item is not peer reviewed.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

Isak Dinesen’s novella, Babette’s Feast, reveals to us what happens when diners eat a meal where the chef proclaims her food to be art. Babette’s Feast explores, among other things, the either/or dichotomies that limit our experience, and shows how the chef is capable of reconciling seemingly oppositional realities, such as spirit and body, through the artistry of food. This analysis examines the implications of food considered as art and the chef considered as artist, focussing on the relationship that comes into being when food-as-art, the chef-as-artist, and diners-as-audience all intersect. A close reading of the text, placing it in a number of different contexts, including an exploration of the influence of physical taste and the social construction of taste, illuminates these issues.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Anne-Marie Feenberg-Dibon
Department: 
Graduate Program in Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.L.S.)

SYMPATHEIA: A short film and essay - An interdisciplinary challenge to neoclassical economics

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

My project is a 13-minute original narrative film that aims to ground and humanize what I view as the rationally detached economic ideas inherited from the Age of Reason, Isaac Newton and influential philosophers like Adam Smith and economists like Milton Friedman. Sympatheia, the title of my film, is an ancient Greek term that means "organic connections" which I use as a counterpoint to the isolation and alienation that our atomized society seems to be struggling with since science eliminated morality from economics. A root cause of this atomization is the incorporation of Newtonian physics into our economic belief system. The film involves the challenges of a homeless man, John, struggling with a voice in his head that has a suspicious, politically tinged agenda. John is forced into a quest for internal peace, self-respect and identity, while the voice in his head forcefully argues for a different, ridged path to happiness based on an absolutist, mathematical interpretation of economics common to the Chicago School and the writings of Milton Friedman. Under this rubric our notions of freedom and liberty become psychologically challenging and socially unsustainable.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Liberal Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Living in Yehupetz: Constructing Jewish identity in the West Kootenays

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This paper examines how Jews choosing to live in isolation from mainstream Canadian Jewish life in British Columbia’s West Kootenay region are constructing Jewish identity. It observes how Jewish heritage and practices have been adapted, changed or rejected by an informal group of liberal individualists and questions whether they have created a new model of Jewish community. The methodology used included two-hour recorded interviews with past and present residents, literature review, archival research and an email survey of eight other small Jewish communities in Canada. This study demonstrates that Kootenay Jews strongly identify culturally, but are often spiritually pluralistic. They admire Jewish values and persistence, but only meet sporadically for certain holy days and life cycle events. They accept radical change to Jewish laws and may not be pro-Israel. There is no communal structure, but they possess a robust belief in their ability to persevere as a community

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Liberal Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

The nineteenth-century press and the development of the artist-celebrity

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

The intent of this project is to explore how the developments in publishing and print technology during the early decades of the nineteenth-century affected the public perception and social role of the European artist. In regard to the latter, an investigation into the noticeable shift from artisan to celebrity is of particular importance. In order to present as concise a study as possible specific incidents in the careers of Charles Dickens, Richard Wagner and Emile Zola are looked at in detail and placed in their technological and cultural context. The results of the project illuminate artists' attempts to come to terms with growing and diverse audiences by using new modes of communication and promotional techniques. More broadly, the project shows how the interaction between, artist audience and media during this period substantively altered views on both the nature of fame and the artist as a public personality.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Liberal Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Marlowe's cabin: Writing across nations

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Essay: Writing Across Nations Immigrant literature is a term that denotes literature written by indviduals who have relocated to Canada. The term is centred around the concepts of nation and citizenshp and relates to Canada's state policy of multiculturalism. In doing so, the writing is portrayed to occur wihn such a framework, when frequently it questions and extends beyond it. In reality, such writing can look beyond the concepts of nation and citizenshp and describes alternate frameworks to experience relocation to Canada. Novella: Marlowe's Cabin The main character has relocated to Canada from Germany. As a long-time resident he has bullt a cabin on an island on British Columbia's coast and reflects there on h s personal and famhal past. In doing so, he comes to realize that he was a victim of incest and considers the Second World War as a factor that led to the generational incest in h s family. His realizations allow him to end this cycle of violence by safeguardng h s daughter Marlowe.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Liberal Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Memoir of a surrogate's daughter: an autobiography

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This is a personal history reflecting upon the part of my life that identified me as an adopted child. I was born in Vancouver British Columbia in 1940. My new identity grew within the social, political, and cultural domain of patriarchy in western Canada. My birth mystery is unravelled; difference between biological and legal kinship is explored; and differences of gender, class, and race limiting possibilities for self-definition in Canadian society are researched. Uncomfortable questions about nature and nurture and the adoption process are also raised. The writer recognizes that double standards apply to autobiographic writing whereby discourses by Augustine, Descarts, and Rousseau form a universal standard against which other works are measured. However, their academically ‘respectable’ models of ‘man’ and ‘humanity’ are void of female experience. The nature of female experience is, in contrast, the focus of feminist autobiography, and it is the model I have chosen for this study.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Liberal Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.L.S.)

An exploration of the folk tale traditions of the Isle of Man: re-imagining Sophia Morrison's Manx fairy tales

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

The rich history and folklore of the Isle of Man, comprising Celtic, Scandinavian and English cultural influences infused with both pagan and Christian religious beliefs, cannot but inspire creative responses. Until very recent times, the rural populace of the Island, isolated as they were by geography, language and culture, held a predominant and persistent belief in the existence of fairies and other supernatural beings. This work places these folk beliefs in their historical context and creates three new ‘fairy’ stories inspired and informed by Manx folk tradition – particularly as it was collected and preserved by Sophia Morrison in her 1911 collection of Manx Fairy Tales.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Liberal Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.L.S.)

Red woman white cube: First Nations art and racialized space

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This thesis project will locate contemporary aboriginal art produced in Canada and critically situate the works in the gallery space. The premise is to investigate both historically and contemporary race relations as manifested in the works use of the colours red and white. The methods of investigation will be through interviews with the artists, analytical theory regarding exhibition space and the museum, combined with critical race theory and analysis of contemporary aboriginal art.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Liberal Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.L.S.)

Pathways to sustainability: Reflections on some western attitudes and institutions

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

The goal of my study is to augment the ideas that are associated with sustainability. A particular aim is to link flourishing humanity and flourishing nature together in this concept. To achieve this, I discuss some beliefs, values and institutions that appear to hinder and some that appear capable of facilitating a shift towards ecological sustainability based on human well-being. Key to this discussion is the concept of 'dematerialization' or the process of adjusting the economy and way of life to the shrinking access to natural resources; 'dematerialization' demonstrates the need to challenge many of the fundamental aspects of the dominant capitalist approach to our economy on social and environmental grounds. Ultimately these explorations lead to the final conclusion for this study: that rather than 'market mechanisms', 'planning' based on research, analysis, and policy is the most effective organizing method for achieving ecological sustainability.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Liberal Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Corporate responsibility and advocacy conviction: How the forces of passion and reason shape contemporary industrial issues

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Business leaders today are cognizant that public expectations of business have changed dramatically in recent years and are legitimate. The result is a value shift towards the ethics of responsibility. This is coritrasted by advocacy groups, which tend to be motivated by passion, and adhere to the ethics of conviction, where the end justifies the means. Is it true, as German sociologist Max Weber suggests, that the ethics of conviction and the ethics of responsibility are fundamentally differing - and in his view - irreconcilably opposed maxims? Or can they be bridged to enable thoughiful public debate on issues of importarice? This proiect looks at the firestorms of negative publicity which often ensue around proposals to site industrial fc~cilities in British Columbia, and the challenges posed for regulators attempting to make informed decisions. The role of the media is evaluated, as is the influence 'experts' have on coverage of contentious issues.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Liberal Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)