Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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"It's the smell of money" : women shoreworkers of British Columbia

Date created: 
1991
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Women's Studies Program) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A. (Women's Studies))

Corporeal imperialism: Textual anti-masturbation in the eighteenth century – and – National negotiation: Toward feminist postnationalism in theory and practice

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Essay 1: This essay discusses textual anti-masturbation in the eighteenth century in order to introduce the concept of corporeal imperialism and argue that the history of anti-masturbation prefigures the history of bodily colonialism. Conducting a close reading of Onania; Or, the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution and Samuel Tissot’s Onanism: Or, a Treatise on the Disorders Produced by Masturbation, this essay illustrates the ways in which the authors link acceptable sexuality to acceptable expressions of citizenship. Essay 2: Arguing that nation is the single most important concept in feminist responses to historical and neo-colonialism, this essay reviews the history of feminist nationalisms through their responses to literal and metaphoric uses of the nation. Using Ama Ata Aidoo’s prose poem Our Sister Killjoy as both an example of necessary nationalism and postnationalism in literature, this essay explores postcolonial nationalism and anti-nationalism while arguing for a theoretical and practical ethic of postnationalism.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Essays (M.A.)

The Swan" versus Orlan: spectacle, plastic surgery, violence, women's bodies and does the Personal Information and Protection Act (2003) obstruct the Freedom Of Information and Protection of Privacy Act?

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

In this paper I explore the concepts of transformation, pain and agency. How contestants of “The Swan” find their way through the reality show to gain what each is seeking from the experience. I compare this show to the artwork of Orlan and how she challenges traditional ideas of these concepts in her art. I weave my own story into these, as I too have experienced reconstructive surgery. I examine how these Acts overlap, undermine and work together. As access to information is of great importance to researchers and to critics of government, the protection of, or the denial of pertinent information is a significant subject. In this paper I use my own narrative and personal documents to test the access to information process.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Essays (M.A.)

Women's studies and the women's movement in Taiwan; and: Lesbianism in mainstream cinema

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Women's Studies and the Women's Movement in Taiwan examines the relationship between women's studies and the women's movement in Taiwan and explain why and how this relationship has shifted. Specifically, it explores the disconnections and the bridges between women's studies and the women's movement. Finally, it concludes with a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of connecting women's studies and the women's movement for both academia and activism. Keywords: Women's Studies, the Women's Movement, Taiwan Lesbianism in Mainstream Cinema analyzes how lesbianism has been depicted in mainstream cinema from the 1960s to the 2000s. It traces the historical development of lesbian films. It also analyzes the dynamic of lesbian representations, such as the elimination of explicitly lesbian sexuality in film versions of lesbian novels, the transformation of butch portrayals, the employment of happy, tragic or other endings, the power relationship between characters, and the lesbian subplot in mainstream cinema. Keywords: Lesbianism, Mainstream Cinema, Portrayal of Lesbian Representations, Lesbian themes in motion pictures

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Essays (M.A.)

Enslaving temporary migrant women: Canada's shifting immigration policies

Date created: 
2012-08-28
Abstract: 

Canada’s adherence to the expansion of the neo-liberal ideology has been accompanied by the federal government’s implementation of an immigration policy shift from a focus on permanent residents to a focus on temporary migrants. Not only has the amount of temporary migrants increased, but so too has the amount of temporary migrant women, indicating the demand for their unfree reproductive labour. This thesis analyzes the changes made to the temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) over the past decade and argues that the Canadian federal government has purposefully implemented a series of changes to the TFWP to render temporary migrant women unfree in Canada and facilitate the extraction of their unfree reproductive labour, ultimately rendering temporary migrant women as modern day slaves. Through a feminist post-colonial lens, this thesis concludes that the expansion of the TFWP is a result of the country’s adherence to neo-liberal ideology and the desire to secure a cheap, flexible source of unfree labour, which is necessary to increase the country’s national comparative advantage.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Habiba Zaman
James Busumtwi-Sam
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Shaping embodiment in The Swan: fan and blog discourses in makeover culture

Author: 
Date created: 
2012-08-15
Abstract: 

This dissertation explores the ubiquity of North American makeover culture from a feminist cultural studies perspective. Using an interdisciplinary and multi-methods approach, I conduct discourse analysis of Fox network’s The Swan (Galan 2004), online audience research of web forums devoted to The Swan, and email interviews with a small group of bloggers who wrote about their cosmetic surgery experiences on the web portal, Makemeheal.com. A postfeminist, neoliberal discourse of choice utilized in makeover culture belies the continued social and discursive regulation of embodiment, directed primarily at women. This re-regulation of embodiment contains the ontological threat of bodily hybridity made visible in makeover culture. In other words, the potential threat of the surgically altered body to expose the instability of bodily integrity is contained through makeover culture discourse that positions women as passive subjects while simultaneously addressing them as active agents. I use a somatechnics rubric, a poststructuralist approach developed by scholars meeting bi-annually since 2003 at Australia’s Macquarie University, to interpret the hybridity I identify in makeover culture. Somatechnics scholars foreground the inseparability of the soma (body) and techné (technologies/techniques). My dissertation develops from the theoretical starting point that bodies are never pure, pre-cultural entities. Rather, bodies become meaningful through their relationship with technologies of daily practice. I add to somatechnics scholarship by concentrating on the nuances of makeover culture techniques afforded the most credibility. Current academic work on makeover culture tends to make generalized assumptions about its participants. By adopting a somatechnic approach, I move beyond well-worn arguments determining agency or coercion of makeover culture subjects. Instead, I concentrate on ambiguities between the natural/constructed or authentic/inauthentic dichotomies in makeover culture discourse. The result is a project that destabilizes moralistic judgements about elective cosmetic body modification and its participants, and refocuses attention to the production of acceptable bodies in popular texts and mediated personal narratives. This project makes an important contribution to ongoing feminist investigations of normalized body modification practices, and advances the study of makeover culture by relocating the site of analysis to the repetitive form(ul)ation of embodied subjectivity within its symbolic borders.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Helen Hok-Sze Leung
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.