Graduate Theses & Dissertations

'This is where the poetry comes out'
Since 1984, poetry slams have emerged as a politicized expressive movement of performing the personal and political through poetry competitions. Slams are also discursively spatialized, often represented as “spaces” that are “safe,” “inclusive,” etc. In this thesis, I investigate how, why, and to what effect the Peterborough Poetry Slam produces, consolidates, and challenges such “resistant spaces.” Drawing on interviews and participant observation, I consider how the slam’s reiterative practices facilitate its space-making by encouraging performances that resist, reimagine, and sometimes inadvertently reify dominant societal norms. I argue that this space-making is imperfect yet productive: though not resistant space in any straightforward or static way, the slam continuously produces possibilities to challenge norms and confront power. This thesis contributes to scholarship on performative space and creative resistance movements. In an era when political resistance to power structures is often silenced, this research offers insights of potential significance to other resistant space-makings. Author Keywords: Nogojiwanong Peterborough, performative space, poetry slam, resistance, space-making, spoken word
Local Immigration Partnerships
Introduced as part of the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) mark a fundamental shift in local settlement policy. To address the gap in knowledge about the implications of this policy change, this thesis research features a case study of Durham Region's LIP. Objectives were designed to examine the impact of Durham's LIP by interviewing 52 key-informants within six sectors involved in settlement and integration. Findings indicate an effective application of the LIP policy with participants pointing to the LIP's vital role in bringing Welcome Centres to Durham, increasing the attention and profile of immigration issues and improving governance relations amongst different sectors in settlement and integration. A product of local circumstances, the LIP has engaged in a quasi-advocacy role educating mainstream service providers and institutions on how to respond to a diversifying population. Results contribute to the relatively under-studied but growing knowledge of the LIP policy while demonstrating that the localization of immigration policy under the appropriate terms can be successful. Author Keywords: Governance, Integration, Local Immigration Partnerships, Ontario, Regionalization, Settlement

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