Graduate Theses & Dissertations

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knight and his horse
This thesis examines the social impact of horses on French elites between 1150 and 1300. Using courtly literature, a veterinary treatise, manuscript illuminations, archeological studies, material artefacts, and account books, it explores the place of horses in elite society—practical and symbolic—and assesses the social costs of elite use and ownership of horses. While horses served practical functions for elites, their use and investment in horses clearly went far beyond practicality, since elites used horses recreationally and sought prestigious horses and highly decorated equipment. Their owners used horses in displays of power, status, and wealth, as well as in displays of conspicuous consumption and the performance of gender roles. The social display associated with horses was integrally tied to the ideology and performance of chivalry. This study examines the broader use of horses by elites to understand their place in the elite culture of the High Middle Ages. Author Keywords: Horses, Knighthood, Medieval France, Military History, Nobility, Social History
Witches and Bawds as Elderly Women in England, 1680-1730
Many print sources from 1680 to 1730 depicted bawds and witches as figures of transgressive elderly femininity. They were often described as having roughly the same anti-social behaviour, age, and gender. Both witches and bawds were seen as seducing innocents into a life of sin, associating with the devil, and acting lustful and unmotherly. Furthermore, they were connected with Catholicism and were thought to unite sinners against English Protestant society. The physical descriptions of the witch and procuress also bore significant patterns in presenting deformity, disfigurement, smelliness, rottenness, and death, traits generally connected with elderly women. Though historians have recognized the tendency of the witch or bawd to be characterized as an old woman, none have conducted a systematic comparison of the two stereotypes. Such an analysis can offer insight about the social anxieties around aging femininity in this period. Author Keywords: bawd, cheap print, elderly women, old age, witch, witchcraft
Underdevelopment in Eastern Bechuanaland
This thesis offers a comprehensive look at the changing roles of a colonial built railway in what is now eastern Botswana. It was built for the extraction of mineral wealth and migration of cheap African labour in Southern Africa but it later assumed a different role of shaping the modern Botswana state. The thesis deals with several other issues related to the railway in Bechuanaland including land alienation, the colonial disregard of the chiefs’ authority, racial discrimination and the economic underdevelopment of Bechuanaland. Since there were no other significant colonial developments at the time of independence, this thesis argues that the railway was the only important feature of the British colonisation of Bechuanaland. From early on, the railway attracted different cultures, identities and religions. It was also instrumental in the introduction of an indigenous capitalist class into Bechuanaland. Author Keywords: Bechuanaland, Botswana, colonisation, migration, railway, underdevelopment
That They Might Sing the Song of the Lamb
This thesis examines Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)'s theology of music, using as a starting place her letter to the Prelates of Mainz, which responds to an interdict prohibiting Hildegard's monastery from singing the liturgy. Using the twelfth-century context of female monasticism, liturgy, music theory and ideas about body and soul, the thesis argues that Hildegard considered the sung liturgy essential to monastic formation. Music provided instruction not only by informing the intellect but also by moving the affections to embrace a spiritual good. The experience of beauty as an educational tool reflected the doctrine of the Incarnation. Liturgical music helped nuns because it reminded them their final goal was heaven, helped them overcome sin and facilitated participation in the angelic choirs. Ultimately losing the ability to sing the liturgy was not a minor inconvenience, but the loss of a significant spiritual and educational tool fundamental to achieving union with God. Author Keywords: Hildegard of Bingen, Letter to the Prelates of Mainz, liturgy, monasticism, music
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
Signalling Beliefs in Ogilby's AFRICA
This study analyzes Christian European perceptions of group identity and beliefs in early modern geographic literature, as exemplified by John Ogilby’s Africa (1670), a selective translation of Olfert Dapper’s 1668 work, and its descriptions of West-Central Africa. Ogilby’s work, congruently with contemporary geographic literature, employed the Christian religion as a key marker of group identity, using it as a lens to interpret and define the collective identities of African societies it described. Using a theoretical framework derived from Daniel Bar-Tal’s Group Beliefs, the thesis demonstrates that Africa portrayed the officially Christian kingdom of Kongo as superior to its non-Christian neighbours, consistently represented in a negative light. This attitude reflected normative European beliefs of Christian superiority fanned by the period’s intense denominationalism and religious anxiety. Africa’s general ecumenism towards other Christian denominations and its maintained “othering” of non-Christian Africans was closely linked to Ogilby’s own sense of self-identity and group beliefs shaped by his life experiences in the seventeenth-century British Isles. Author Keywords: Africa, Christianity, Identity, Kongo, Ogilby, Syncretism
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
Religion, Wilberforce’s Evangelicalism, and the Memoirs of Common British Soldiers, 1811-1863
This thesis examines low-ranking British soldiers’ memoirs in the nineteenth century to determine the extent to which they identified with Christianity and how their expressions of faith differed from each other. Using twelve narratives published between 1811–1863, it finds that all of these soldiers identified themselves with Protestant Christianity and, more importantly, considered irreligion an evil which could not be justified by any decent British citizen. Furthermore, it argues that soldiers’ identity construction was largely determined by the degree of depth of their religious understanding. It uses the work of William Wilberforce to contextualize these soldiers’ expressions of faith and demonstrates how military writing can be more fully understood as representing a spectrum between nominal Christianity and real or true Christianity. This project strives to demonstrate that the religiosity of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain has a significant impact upon our understanding of their time. Author Keywords: Britain, Christianity, memoirs, Military, soldiers, William Wilberforce
Question of Culture in the Socio-Economic Violence & Abuse Against Women in Zambia
This thesis presents an assessment of the role of culture in the political marginalization and the socio-economic violence and abuse against women in Zambia. It also explores other contributing factors such as the country's economic crisis of the 1970s, and its colonial legacy, especially in as far as these factors related to the status of women and contributed to the issue of violence and abuse against them. The study utilized primary sources in the form of newspaper articles from the year 1980 to the mid-1990s, to make conclusions for its findings. While previous scholarship emphasized that the violent abuse of women in the country was prevalent because of the highly patriarchal attitudes of the society, this thesis seeks to suggest that the context of violence, abuse and the political marginalization of Zambian women was shaped by an intersection of various elements some of which were not necessarily patriarchal by nature. Furthermore, the thesis explores women's agency in this issue to show that patriarchal systems are not as fixed and uncontested as has been assumed to be the case. Author Keywords: Abuse, Culture, Political Marginalization, Tradition, Violence, Zambia
Press Rhetoric and Human Rights in The Carter Era
Jimmy Carter and his administration varied the ways in which they addressed human rights concerns internationally. There was a strong, often emotional evocation of human rights in reference to countries that were less economically, strategically, or politically important to the United States and the foreign policy goals of the Carter administration. This was not present in Carter’s approach to addressing human rights concerns in important allies, such as South Korea, or with countries where relations were fragile and important, such as China and the USSR. This ambivalence in addressing human rights in strategically important nations was compounded by Carter’s disavowal of linkage policies. It was this ambivalence that made the moral foreign policy a failure. While there were international situations out of his control, his continued leniency and unbalanced application of linkage and focus on adherence to human right practices internationally, lessened the administration’s ability to respond to international tragedy. Author Keywords: American Foreign Policy, Government Indexing, Human Rights, Jimmy Carter, Presidential Press Relations
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
Pervert’s New Statesman
Justice Weekly was a tabloid published in Toronto from 1946 to 1972. The popular narrative is that it was an unremarkable, obscure, and pornographic paper which was co-opted by gay and homophile voices in the 1950s. But why did a magazine best remembered, as Mordecai Richler put it, as “the pervert’s new statesman” publish this material? This thesis argues that Justice Weekly really was primarily about Justice, rather than titillation. The paper explored justice through topics such as juvenile delinquency and spanking, which allowed sexualized material to appear, as well as conversations surrounding gay men, race, criminality, and punishment. While the paper outed gay men and often argued for harsher prison conditions, it also published material from Canada’s earliest gay activists and prisoner presses. Justice Weekly’s focus on equitable justice allowed both sex and advocacy to emerge from its content. Author Keywords: Delinquency, Homosexuality, Jim Egan, Pornography, Pulp, Tabloid

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