Graduate Theses & Dissertations

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Memorable Movie Watching
Memorable Movie Watching: Viewer Ruminations about Memory in Four Canadian Films and their IMDb User Reviews explores how four Canadian films released in the decade around the turn of the millennium tell stories of memory and remembering, and how User Reviewers writing on the IMDb.com engage with, respond to, and re–remember those narratives filtered through their own remembered personal experiences. It embraces a new form of audience research by analyzing films alongside voluntary viewer contributions in order to bring these viewers’ voices into the conversation about memory in film and specifically Canadian film.Lilies (John Greyson, 1996), The Hanging Garden (Thom Fitzgerald, 1997), Marion Bridge (Wiebke Von Carolsfeld, 2002), and My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007) are each fiction films that focus on the main character’s deeply personal childhood memories. A textual analysis of the four films reveals trends in how the filmmakers create memory explorations and memory works [works based on memory] in Canadian film. A further textual and thematic analysis of the IMDb’s 117 User Reviews for these four films reveals how viewers engage with what I term memory narratives and the personal memories these films spark. The four films respectively privilege, through narrative and filmic techniques, each protagonist’s telling of remembered childhood events. Yet when User Reviewers of the films comment on the protagonist’s remembered childhood events, they choose to contest them, citing the unreliability of the remembered and of memory itself. User Reviewers interrogate the film narratives against their own personal experience, all the while asserting that there is significance to be found in the process of remembering. For User Reviewers, this process of remembering involves engaging with the film and then writing about their memories of watching the film and its narrative through their own sparked memories. In this process, they dig for significant meaning even though Users rarely articulate that meaning or specify for whom it is meaningful. In their writing, Users do reveal their own thoughts and beliefs about Canadian film, as well as their knowledge of filmmakers, related texts, Canadian locations, and their own childhood and youth experiences. Key words Memory, Remembering, Canadian Film, User generated content, Audience, Viewer, Thom Fitzgerald, John Greyson, Guy Maddin, Wiebke von Carolsfeld Content Warning Please note: the memory stories depicted in these films, discussed in the User Reviews and in this dissertation are extremely disturbing and may be upsetting to the reader. Author Keywords: Audience, Canadian Film, Memory, Social Media, User Generated Content, Viewer
Anishinaabe Motherhood
The purpose of this qualitative study is to investigate Anishinaabe women’s Traditional Teachings and pedagogies in a contemporary context. Through this exploration, I have uncovered the tensions, challenges, and strengths that Anishinaabe gaashiyag (mothers) face when engaging with these Traditional Teachings and pedagogies. The research methodology I have used is a branch of grounded theory called the Anishinaabe Research Methodology, and it is integral to the Anishinaabe principles of living called the Seven Grandparent Teachings: Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth. I used a research method called the Nbwaachiwi (the art of visiting) method. I used the ‘Aunties kitchen table’ style of knowledge collection, where it is open-ended and one-on-one - like you would be at your auntie's kitchen table, sharing stories and having tea. By utilizing these principles, I conducted my research through the Anishinaabe-aadiziwin (culture and language – way of life) paradigm. I addressed multilayered Anishinaabe teachings and many connections to the land and spirituality. I have found that Anishinaabe gaashiyag feel pressure to adopt Western modes of raising their children. However, some young women are returning to the traditional Anishinaabe teachings by using traditional birthing techniques, tiknigaans (traditional baby carriers), and evolving our cultural practices to fit modern ways of living. The knowledge I present within this paper can inform mothers who want to learn Traditional Teachings and pedagogies, and thereby resist ongoing intergeneration trauma and colonization. New generations are identifying what the negative effects on raising Anishinaabe children and taking a stand to break ongoing trauma and abuse so that their children do not have to be subjected to it. These mothers are informed about cultural and Traditional Teachings with the hope that they can use this knowledge to assist them on their path to, and during, motherhood. Given the determination of these young mothers to raise their babies using Anishinaabe traditional methods, the future identities and lives of their children may be significantly better in a cultural sense than their predecessors. They will be the products of their mothers’ commitment to the resurgence of Anishinaabe maternal teachings and pedagogies. Author Keywords: Anishinaabe, Indigenous Motherhood, Motherhood, Parenting, Pedagogies, Teachings
Help-Seeking Behaviours Of Individuals With Workplace Mental Health Injuries
The present study investigated the lived-experiences of individuals with workplace mental health injuries to better understand the thoughts, emotions, and behavioural processes that promote or inhibit help-seeking. This research investigated the interactions and relationships with relevant stakeholders and how they influence help-seeking. Qualitative methodology was employed by conducting semi-structured interviews with individuals (n=12) from various occupational classes who had experienced a workplace mental health injury. Interpretative phenomenological analysis and thematic content analysis were combined to analyze the data. Three main themes emerged: 1) self-preservation through injury concealment or distancing from workplace stressors 2) fatigue relating to complex help-seeking pathways, accumulation of stressors, and decreased ability in treatment decision-making, and 3) (mis)trust in the people and processes involved. These findings may help inform the mechanisms behind help-seeking for workplace mental health injuries, which may have implications for future research, policy development, and workplace processes to better facilitate a path to help. Author Keywords: help-seeking, mental health concealment, self-preservation, trust, workplace mental health, WSIB
Final Makeover, Deindividualization of Women in Contemporary Death Notices
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, print death notices have increased in number, length, and deviations, often as the only form of public recognition for the deceased. This thesis provides close readings through feminist and anti-ageist lenses of ninety print death notices, published in The Peterborough Examiner and Peterborough This Week between October 2019 and October 2021. These readings inform and illustrate the deindividualization of older women in death notices as the product not only of the limitations of language and format, but of a community that panders to regional public interests and traditional ageist tropes of femininity to create worthy public subjects. An exploration of ambiguities, contradictions, and overdeterminations that break with conventions of death notices reveals unintentional makeovers, deindividualization, and the sidelining of older women as subjects of their own memorials and photos in an extension of the systemic and internalized gendered ageism older women experience in life. Author Keywords: Ageism, COVID-19, Death Notices, Deindividualization of Women, Feminism, Older Women
The Desire to Be Authentic
Authenticity has been demonstrated as an important factor in relationships and sexual health (Impett et al., 2006; Impett, Breines, & Strachman, 2010). Although authentic behaviour is generally beneficial, sharing our true thoughts, feelings, and desires may be especially difficult in sexual contexts. Existing research has demonstrated that individuals find sexual communication awkward, uncomfortable, and embarrassing and may avoid such discussions overall (Shumlich & Fisher, 2020). Despite the evidence that behaving authentically in sexual contexts is uniquely challenging, research has yet to explore sexual authenticity. A primary objective of this study was to develop a measure to assess individuals’ level of sexual authenticity. Study 1 involved performing several exploratory factor analyses on the 23 proposed items, which yielded a 15-item scale that loaded onto three factors: 1) Honest Sexual Communication, 2) Sexual Placating, and 3) Sexual Self-Doubt. These subscales were statistically associated with related constructs such as relationship authenticity, honesty, and sexual deception. In Study 2, confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on two independent samples which provided additional support for the model and evidence for generalizability for the scale. The resulting Sexual Authenticity Scale was then leveraged to examine the relationships between sexual authenticity and its proposed benefits. Overall, sexual authenticity was found to be associated with enhanced sexual communication, sexual consent behaviours, and higher sexual and relationship satisfaction. Author Keywords: authenticity, relationship satisfaction, sexual authenticity, sexual communication, sexual consent, sexual satisfaction
Rural Older Adult Transitions in Care
Aligning health services with aging populations is the fundamental issue of modern Canadian health policy, yet rural older populations still experience compromised patient safety and poor-quality care as they transfer between care settings. As such, contemporary scholars acknowledge that more contextually sensitive studies are needed to better understand the unique health and care experiences of this vulnerable population across the care continuum. Informed by inquiry in critical gerontology, health services and human geography, my dissertation attends to this gap in research by revealing the interplay between older adult health construction and the influence of multidimensional contexts on rural older adult transitions in care. Using a community-based approach, I conduct a case study on Haliburton County that encompasses three phases (e.g., a rural community inventory, go-alongs and semi-structured interviews) and focuses on two types of transitions in care (when an older adult is transferred from a hospital to a long-term care home and when an older adult is transferred from a hospital to a home in the community). In total, 19 patients, 24 informal supports, 51 front-line staff and five administrators/managers participated in my dissertation, resulting in 99 total participants being included in 19 go-alongs and 85 semi-structured interviews. My results indicate that multi-leveled facets of the rural care context continually attend to and hinder rural older adult health during transitions in care. In particular, sectored divisions, urban centrism, biomedicine and ageism inhibit rural care providers from leveraging their strengths to attend to the heterogeneity of rural older adult health and the nuances of rural care contexts. I then argue the need for macro health systems reform to embrace the relationality of rural older adult transitions in care and to capitalize on the strengths inherent in rural communities. To foster knowledge mobilization of my findings, I provide a foundation of information and recommendations for the community partners (Haliburton Highlands Health Services and Seniors Care Network) as well as questions to inform research, policy and practice. Establishing the first study of rural older adult transitions in care where a researcher accompanies older adults and their informal supports across care settings, my dissertation will help prepare Canada for the impact of the aging population and transform transitional care provision to meet the needs of all Canadians in the 21st century. Author Keywords: Canada, Geriatric Care, Health Care, Older Adult Health, Rural Health Care, Transitions in care
"Non-compliance" in the system
This thesis examines how co-creators Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro’s 2014 graphic work, Bitch Planet, is in all conceivable ways a seminal and prescient example of — to use their term — “non-compliance” in the comics form and industry. From its inception as a feminist dystopia, written by a white woman and illustrated by a Black man, in an industry that is over-represented by white men, Bitch Planet is a prime example of activist comics that is situated perfectly within the “Blue Age” of comics, to use the term coined by comic scholar Adrienne Resha. This is evident in the main narrative of Bitch Planet in which, in an industry still over-represented by white characters, the main cast of characters are four Black women and one Japanese-American woman, each of whom we see come up against a theologically patriarchal white supremacist system that imprisons them for crimes that are gendered, racialized, classist and ableist. DeConnick and De Landro’s collaboration with other artists extends from Laurenn McCubbin’s satirical paratextual in-universe advertisements on the back page of each comic which complement Bitch Planet’s main narrative to an invitation to world- building to the greater comic community, allowing creators with marginalized identities to craft short comic stories that satirically and deeply explore the socio-political issues developed in the main narrative of Bitch Planet. The final act of “non-compliance” comes out of the expansion of authorship of Bitch Planet to the readership via the letters pages, and beyond: highlighting readers’ Twitter messages, connecting with them through Tumblr, and posting pictures of fan “non-compliant” tattoos within the pages of Bitch Planet. Author Keywords: Bitch Planet, comics, critical race studies, dystopia , gender studies, intersectional feminism
Uplifting Her Voice
This thesis creates an adaptation of act five, scene three of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus that reshapes the play by focusing on female empowerment through the character Lavinia. Specifically, by using other Shakespearean characters’ dialogue that can speak towards her situation, I have written a monologue and stage directions for Lavinia. The same patriarchal superstructures which existed in the West during the time of Shakespeare and at the time of the play’s setting—and which still exist today—ensure that Lavinia remains silenced. Through my adaptation, I aim to challenge these structures in a meaningful way by returning both voice and agency to Lavinia. Author Keywords: Adaptation, Agency, Metamorphosis, Patriarchy, Revenge, Voice
Ripe for the Taking
This thesis considers the fanfiction genres of slash-fiction, and Alpha/Beta/Omega fiction through an analysis of fandom’s embedded gift economy structures. Previous research on fanfiction and fandom structures have often characterized the gift economy nature of these spaces as countercultural and as separate from the frequent exploitation inherent in economic-based systems. There has been less attention paid to considering the potential disruptions that can come with unregulated and large-scale sharing. This thesis undertakes a critical discourse analysis of Alpha/Beta/Omega slash-fiction with a focus on commodity fetishism to reveal how the subgenre’s relationship with the fanfiction gift economy complicates and at times counters the conception of these spaces as a ‘queer utopia.’ The purpose of this research is to dismantle traditional archetypes within Alpha/Beta/Omega fanfiction by exploring how male Omegan characters become fetishized cultural commodity objects internally through interactions with Alpha characters and externally through the desires of fanfiction readers and writers. Author Keywords: Alpha/Beta/Omega, Commodity Fetishism, Fanfiction, Gift Economy, Queer Theory, Slash-fiction
Nutrient Management in Forest Management Planning
This research evaluates the degree to which nutrients are included in forest management planning. First, the thesis evaluates forest management plans globally to determine the extent to which countries consider key nutrients (N, P, Ca, Mg and K) in their forest management plans. This is followed by a case study in Muskoka, Ontario, of a pilot wood ash recycling program with the goal of restoring calcium and other nutrients in the forests. This pilot project aims to evaluate the benefits of using wood ash as a forest fertilizer, as evidence that the practice merits approval by the provincial government. A text-based literature analysis of current regulations and the Environmental Compliance Approval (appendix 3) submitted to the provincial government for this project was undertaken as this project is currently a not approved practice by the government. Interviews were completed with key stakeholders and experts in the field to understand the benefits and policy hurdles of this program. Based on the documents analysed in this study, it was concluded that both globally and in Canada, nutrient management is not the focus of forest management plans. With respect to the pilot wood ash program, this thesis concluded that there is not enough data published to make the government departments comfortable with approving wood ash as a soil fertilizer. Nevertheless, there is much community support and many perceived benefits to this project, but more supporting data is needed. Author Keywords: Forest, Nutrients, Sustainability, Wood-ash
Deep learning for removal of non-resonant background in CARS hyperspectroscopy
In this work, a deep learning approach proposed by Valensise et al. [3] for extracting Raman resonant spectra from measured broadband CARS spectra was explored to see how effective it is at removing NRB from our experimentally measured “spectral-focusing”-based approach to CARS. A large dataset of realistic simulated CARS spectra was used to train a model capable of performing this spectral retrieval task. The non-resonant background shape used in creating the simulated CARS spectra was altered, to mimic our experimentally measured NRB response. Two models were trained: one using the original approach (Specnet) and one using the updated NRB “Specnet Plus”, and then tested their ability to retrieve the vibrationally resonant spectrum from simulated and measured CARS spectra. An error analysis was performed to compare the model's retrieval performance on two simulated CARS spectra. The modified model's mean squared error value was five and two times lower for the first and second simulated CARS spectra, respectively. Specnet Plus was found to be more effective at extracting the resonant signals. Finally, the NRB extraction abilities of both models are tested on two experimentally measured CARS hyperspectroscopy samples (starch and chitin), with the updated NRB model (Specnet Plus) outperforming the original Specnet model. These results suggest that tailoring the approach to reflect what we observe experimentally will improve our spectral analysis workflow and increase our imaging potential. Author Keywords:
Vulnerability and resilience
The Minority Stress Model proposes that LGBTQ+ people experience stressors unique to their identity that negatively impact their mental well-being. The model also outlines that, in the case of the LGBTQ+ community, two minority coping resources - social support and connection to the LGBTQ+ community – may act as potential minority stress buffers; however, research has been unable to determine if these are effective buffers. The current study used multiple regression and multilevel modelling to test the processes of the Minority Stress Model among 451 LGBTQ+ people over 25 timepoints during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although minority stressors and coping resources were associated with psychological distress in the expected directions, an interesting interaction between the two measures of minority stress was revealed and neither minority coping resource was found to buffer the association between minority stress and distress. In conclusion, the present study found partial support for the Minority Stress Model using longitudinal data but highlights the complex nature of these processes and how they are conceptualised in research. Author Keywords: identity concealment, LGBTQ+ community, mental health, minority coping, minority stress model, social support

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Format: 2023/02/04