Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Sponsoring Private Schools in an Informal Empire
This thesis analyzes the history of the Inter-American Schools Service (IASS), which ran under the auspices of the American Council on Education beginning in 1943. The program was defined as a private initiative aimed at spreading U.S. democratic values throughout the hemisphere for the mutual benefit of both the United States and Latin America. Yet the program was ultimately one facet of the United States' informal imperialism and a tool for the consolidation of U.S. hegemony, which came at the expense of Latin Americans' pursuit of the very values the IASS was said to facilitate. This theme is explored through a general discussion of cultural policy in the twentieth-century United States as well as the specific history of the IASS program and its relation to U.S. policies of intervention in Guatemala and Bolivia. Author Keywords: American Schools, Cultural Imperialism, Guatemala, Hegemony, Informal Imperialism, Inter-American Schools Service
EMPIRE AND ITS PRACTITIONERS
In 1915 U.S. Marines invaded Haiti. Driven first by the epidemiological dangers in Haiti, health and medicine was made a central tenet in administering the occupation. Useful for protecting the American Marines from disease, the Service d'Hygiene (the occupation-era Public Health Service) also served a hegemonic purpose. By bringing American biomedicine to sick Haitians, the Service d'Hygiene built support for the occupation and helped foster long-term connections between Haiti and the United States. This hegemonic drive was made possible by the incorporation of non-state actors into the colonial project. To achieve this, the American authorities forged a development strategy for Haiti that was premised upon a relationship between the state and private institutions such as the Rockefeller Foundation. This strategy also encouraged Haiti to look to the United States for support, a goal successfully realized when Haitian politicians continued to do so even after the Marines left Haiti in 1934. Author Keywords: Haiti, Hegemony, Imperialism, Public Health, Rockefeller Foundation, Service d'Hygiene
American Acropolis, American Ruins
Since 1979, photographer and sociologist Camilo José Vergara has taken repeat photographs of American cities in decline, focusing on evolving landscapes of postindustrial decay. Vergara's images subscribe to an aesthetic of ruin while providing a record of America's crumbling ghettos rooted in social documentary concerns. Vergara's work diverges from the ahistorical tendencies of contemporary ruin porn photography: by challenging the photograph's temporal stasis Vergara bears witness to the ongoing reality of disenfranchisement, assembling an archive that takes up the Benjaminian task of doing history in images. Vergara's photographs challenge standard photojournalistic portrayals of violence, particularly the ways in which `violent' African American and Hispanic inner city populations have been erroneously cast as the cause of their own economic misfortune. The Invincible Cities website assists Vergara in drawing attention to forgotten places but also complicates his mandate to engage outside viewers by distancing them from the real-­world environments his photographs portray. Author Keywords: Camilo José Vergara, imagistic history, postindustrial decline, repeat photography, ruin porn, Walter Benjamin
Reshaping the Terms of Debate
The Reagan era instigated a fundamentally conservative shift in the political, economic and discursive climate of America. As Ronald Reagan is a highly divisive symbolic figure in American politics, much of the historiography of his presidency has been characterized by polarized interpretations. Over the past decade there has been a noticeable shift towards more favourable and triumphal interpretations of the Reagan era. This thesis seeks to analyze the ideological shifts that have characterized the trajectory of historical writings on the Reagan era. Through employing a careful textual analysis of key works by Michael Schaller, Gil Troy and Sean Wilentz, amongst others, this study demonstrates how historiography serves us less as an objective means of understanding the past and more so as an expanding collective historical artifact that illustrates the changing currents of intellectual and political discourse. In doing so, the notion of scholarly objectivity itself is thrown into question. Author Keywords: Cold War, Conservatism, Historiography, Neoliberalism, Reagan Doctrine, Ronald Reagan
Beyond Paris
A presidential spouse in an era of rigid gender norms, Jacqueline Kennedy frequently straddled the divide between celebrity, social acceptability, and personal desire. Yet, history remembers America's thirty-seventh First Lady more for her fashion and soft-spoken nature. Forgotten is that she was a `transitional' figure, who oversaw America's largest restoration of the White House and served as a `goodwill ambassador' for her husband. When three gunshots brought their tenure to an abrupt end, Jackie's focus shifted and she fixated on the creation of a legacy that immortalized JFK. `Camelot,' is a construct almost exclusively conceived and executed by the former First Lady. In this vein, the coming exploration delves into the private actions of Jackie during her time in as First Lady, contrasting them sharply with her public image. What emerges is a portrait the world seldom saw: one driven by raw intellect and a desire to be of service to her husband and country. Author Keywords: Camelot, First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Restoration, White House
Class Struggle and Solidarity in Neo-Liberal Times
The lengthy and raucous 1986 Gainers meatpacking plant strike in Edmonton, Alberta was one of the most important events in recent Alberta labour history. In the midst of the economic crisis of the 1980s and the rise of neo-liberal ideas, the strike marked a backlash by both the labour movement and ordinary citizens against attacks on workers and unions. Characterized by widely covered picket line violence, repressive police and court actions, and government unresponsiveness, the strike generated massive solidarity within and beyond the labour movement. This solidarity originated in a rejection of the neo-liberal new reality of Alberta typified by high unemployment, anti-union laws and practices, and lack of government welfare support, and it generated a provincial change the law campaign, national boycott, and rising class consciousness. The working class mobilization during the Gainers strike was a watershed for the Alberta labour movement. Author Keywords: Alberta Federation of Labour, Gainers strike, neo-liberalism, solidarity, working class
Effects of Ideological Conformity on Foreign Policymaking
During the 1970s, ideological divisions caused by divergent interpretations of the American failure in Vietnam permeated the world of foreign policymaking. This led to a concern among the architects of the Reagan administration that foreign policymaking had become incoherent. They attempted to mitigate the effects of this disharmony by re-establishing a workable degree of ideological conformity within the foreign policy bureaucracy. This thesis focuses on the strategy used to improve ideological conformity and its effect on the foreign policy bureaucracy’s ability to produce well informed policy. Using case studies of two of Reagan’s ambassadors to Central America, it argues that Reagan’s strategy created a foreign policy bureaucracy that manufactured uninformed policy. The influence granted to officials who based their recommendations on regional expertise was severely curtailed. This shift produced a subsequent change in diplomatic practice, as foreign service officers adapted to the demand for allegiance to the president’s agenda. Author Keywords: American Foreign Policy, Central America, Ronald Reagan
Finding New Roads Towards Peace
This thesis provides an analysis of the Carnegie Commission’s report on the causes and consequences of the Balkan Wars (1912-1913). Shortly after the closing of hostilities, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace appointed an international Commission of Inquiry to collect evidence of atrocities from the sites of war. The thesis analyzes the arguments expressed in the Commission’s report as an example of European and American attitudes towards the Balkans. The concept of Balkanism provides a theoretical framework according to which the Commissioners’ views are contextualized within the existing stereotypes of the region. Based on the correspondence available in the archives of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the memoirs and biographies of the various members of the Commission, and the information published in periodicals, this work also examines the justifications for the appointment of the Commission, the circumstances related to the investigation of atrocities and the reaction of Balkan governments to the report. Keywords: Carnegie Report, Carnegie Commission, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Balkan Wars, Balkanism. Author Keywords: Balkanism, Balkans, Balkan Wars, Carnegie Commission, Carnegie Endowment, Carnegie Report
Prepared for the Next War? U.S. Attachés Reports, Military Innovation and the Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War was a theatre of political tension where democracy, communism, and fascism clashed during the interwar period, starting in July 1936 and ending in April 1939. The war defied the traditional concept of a civil war as Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union became involved. All three saw Spain as a testing ground for new military technologies. Meanwhile the United States government stayed steadfast in its isolationist approach to foreign conflict and sent no aid to either side. American military attachés, who are military observers to foreign nations, in Spain witnessed the ongoing conflict, creating detailed reports of their observations before, during, and after the war. This thesis argues that the reports, which contained valuable information regarding military technology and doctrine, had little impact on American military innovation during the interwar period. This was due to both politically dictated neglect and doctrine prejudice regarding European conflicts. Based on the attaché reports, this thesis will explain what Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union learned about aviation, tanks, and artillery from their participation in Spain. This will be contrasted with the state of the United States’ military at the same time to demonstrate not only the little impact the attaché reports had on the trajectory of the American military, but how the military lagged behind those in Spain upon the beginning of the Second World War. Author Keywords: American military attachés, Germany, Italy, Military Intelligence Division, Soviet Union, Spanish Civil War

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