Graduate Theses & Dissertations

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Great Liberation (or Standing Up, Laying Down)
This thesis presents a critical history of stand-up comedy alongside rhetorical analyses of specific stand-up routines and performances to argue for stand-up’s efficacy as a therapeutic artform. Through analysis of the history, function, and content of satire, this thesis presents stand-up comedy as an artform utilized for more than just simple laughter. Stand-up comedy, as a form and genre, provides the unique ability to engage with difficult subject matter, traumatic experiences, and offense for the benefit of both listener and audience in a way that subverts, therapizes, and equalizes instances of discrimination, trauma, and denigration. Author Keywords: Abjection, Offense, Satire, Stand-up Comedy, Therapy
Oil is Thicker than Justice
This thesis provides a comprehensive overview of the extractive industry operating out of the Alberta tar sands region to determine how environmental violence is enacted against Indigenous women, girls, and queer or Two-Spirit peoples in the Lubicon Lake Cree Nation and beyond. Through an analysis of existing literature in the field, a case study on the Lubicon Lake Nation and a policy analysis of the Calls for Justice from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, this thesis draws links between industrialization, capitalism, the heteropatriarchy, and colonialism. Finally, this thesis offers a pathway to resurgence, through the subversion of colonial gender and sexual norms, and collective action to reclaim Indigenous territory as an alternative to state-sponsored solutions and policies. Author Keywords: Colonial heteropatriarchy, Environmental violence, Land Back, Lubicon Lake, Tar sands, Violence against Indigenous women
Ê-NITONAHK MIYO-PIMÂTISIWIN (SEEKING THE GOOD LIFE) THROUGH INDIGENOUS DANCE
This thesis is about the ways in which Indigenous dance serves as a social determinant of Indigenous health and well-being. Utilizing both contemporary and traditional versions of the Medicine Wheel for the framework, analysis and organization of the thesis allows for a holistic perspective which includes the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental aspects. The importance of Indigenous dance for Indigenous health and well-being is confirmed through: existing literature; interviews with Indigenous choreographers, dancers, theatre artists, and performers; Indigenous exponents of the forms; and Indigenous Elders. In order to contextualize current practices of Indigenous dance, the history of Indigenous dance in relation to colonization is presented. The research and experiences of co-researchers show the need for Indigenous dance and culture to be supported as a social determinant of health and well-being. Author Keywords:
Heteronormativity in Virtual World Design
The purpose of this research is to highlight the limitations and opportunities for playful expression of gender identity in character creation systems of virtual worlds, and how these might work to reinforce, or disrupt, the heteronormative imperative. The primary sites considered in this analysis are the video game World of Warcraft and the live action role-playing game Amtgard. I provide evidence that while the World of Warcraft’s character creation system is sexist and works to reinforce heteronormative ideology, Amtgard’s relatively ambiguous design provides opportunity for disruption of these norms. Participant research with Amtgard players demonstrates actual instances of Amtgard’s more flexible character creation system being utilized in expression and exploration of gender identity which resists the heteronormative imperative. Based on this, I call on game developers to reject designs which necessitate selection of gender from within the traditional binary and embrace more ambiguous design in development of character creation systems. Author Keywords: Avatars, Game Design, Games, Gender, Identity, Virtual Worlds
Beyond Beads
Burials at the Early Bronze Age IA (c. 3700-3400) cemetery of Fifa, Jordan included a variety of grave goods including beads. These were made of glazed steatite or carnelian. This thesis utilizes use-wear analysis, SEM-EDS, XRD, and a database of 5th and 4th millennium BCE beads in order to build life-histories for Fifa’s beads. Beyond focusing on how the beads were manufactured, where they were produced, how they travelled to the Fifa cemetery, and how they were used at the cemetery, the symbolic and contextual meanings of both types of beads are also explored. I argue that Fifa’s glazed steatite beads were manufactured in Upper Egypt while its carnelian beads were produced in Northwest Arabia. Their exchange facilitated economic and social connections. Both types of beads were likely used for their protective qualities with glazed steatite also potentially assisting in the successful reincarnation of deceased subadults. Author Keywords: Beads, Carnelian, Glazed Steatite, Levantine Archaeology, Mortuary Archaeology, Use-wear Analysis
From Cultural Barriers to Educational Breakthroughs
This study examines critical pedagogy as a novel approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) education at Peterborough Police Service (PPS). To begin, the present study examines hypermasculinity and isolationism as cultural traits in policing that serve as barriers to DEI education. Later, results of focus groups with PPS members that investigated negative and positive experiences with DEI training, barriers to meeting DEI education outcomes and, perceived goals of future DEI education at PPS are discussed. Drawing from findings from the literature review and focus groups, this thesis argues that critical pedagogy offers a useful framework to explore divisive subjects like systemic racism, power and privilege, colonialization, etc. and contributions of police in maintenance of the status quo. Raising the critical consciousness of PPS members by unveiling systems of domination may provide a starting point for enhancing police service to groups that are racialized and minoritized. Education of this kind may also involve a reconceptualization of the role of police as allies to marginalized communities. Author Keywords: Community, Critical Pedagogy, Diversity, Education, Police, Police Culture
Along the Path
This thesis is written in three parts and supported throughout by feminist critical pedagogical analysis and a narrative methodological approach. In Part I I lay a theoretical groundwork that weaves the Freirean roots of critical pedagogy with its more contemporary theories in application to K-12 schooling, and with feminist thinking, most notably Sara Ahmed whose work has moved me both as a human and a teacher. In Part II, I take a deep dive into autoethnography (Bochner, (2017), Ellis, 1999). In Part III, I offer a memoir of my experience as a classroom teacher over a nearly 20 year period. The story of my work as an activist elementary school teacher oscillates between phases of hope and despair around the potential for forwarding a broad range of social and ecological justice ends through teaching and learning in the Ontario public school system. Finally, in Part IV, I return to conceptual analysis to reflect on the key themes of my memoir including teacher burnout, teacher efficacy, teacher resilience, and the ways in which these interact with teacher learning communities, school cultures and the relationships that underpin the work of teachers and educators. Author Keywords: Activist, Autoethnography, Critical Pedagogy, Resilience, Social-Change, Teaching
Morphometric and Decorative Variability in Complete and Near-Complete Middle and Late Woodland Vessels from the Frontenac Axis
This thesis examines morphometric variability and decorative variability and complexityat the intervessel and intravessel levels in samples of complete and near-complete Middle and Late Woodland vessels. The purpose of this study is to determine how a better understanding of variability in Middle and LateWoodland period pottery can help interpret fragmentary assemblages and supplement minimum number of vessels estimates (MNV) and estimated vessel equivalents (EVE): two common methods of pottery quantification. This study also permitted the full characterization of the Charleston Lake and South Lake vessels with associated photographs. The results of this study indicate that sherd thickness and design can be used to confidently assign vessel fragments to single vessels, thereby improving minimum number of vessels estimates, and the process of measuring brokenness and completeness for estimated vessel equivalents. Three sherd thickness conversion indexes provide archaeologists with a way to relate non-diagnostic and non-fitting sherds to their original vessels by the measure of sherds in relation to rims or paired portions (eg. Rim and neck, neck and shoulder, body and shoulder, and body and base). With the use of the sherd thickness conversion indexes, an efficient method of MNV estimation is proposed. Author Keywords: estimated vessel equivalents, minimum number of vessels, morphometry, pottery quantification, variability, Woodland Period ceramics
Internationalized Crusade
The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936 divided national public opinions throughout the West. One of the factors behind such split was religious beliefs. This was the case for the United States and Ireland where Francisco Franco’s rebels got significant public support. This work argues that both the Irish and American Catholic Church hierarchies and laity Catholics’ support of the Nationalists had dramatic effects domestically. This thesis expands previous scholarship on the Spanish Civil War by utilizing primary sources from both American and Irish archives to understand the intention, forms, and controversy of Irish and American Catholics’ support of the Nationalists. Author Keywords: Anti-clericalism, Catholicism, Clergy, De Valera, FDR, Spanish Civil War
Marginalization and Alternative Education in Ontario
In Ontario, mainstream education often does not meet the individual learning needs of high school students who experience marginalization. Alternative school programs may offer these students greater support and flexibility in completing their high school diploma. While previous research on alternative education in Ontario is thorough, it is limited to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). To address the lack of research within smaller communities, this project uses the experiences of alternative education students in the City of Peterborough to explore how alternative programs meet student needs. Using a narrative methodology, the project relies on interviews with six students who offer their stories of attending alternative education programs. Research findings suggest that alternative education programs offer a meaningful and effective way for students to complete high school. Participants emphasize the importance of positive relationships with teachers and staff, student-driven curriculum, paid co-operative credits, and material benefits. Author Keywords: Alternative Education, Critical Pedagogy, Marginalization, Narrative Inquiry, Ontario, Student Experiences
Community and conservation
Faced with the intersecting environmental crises of the 21st century, conservation organizations are searching for practices that produce better, more sustainable outcomes. However, they have often relied on forms of conservation which shore up rather than disrupt settler relationships to land in the form of fortress conservation and assumptions about the human-nature dualism. In this thesis, I examine a local land trust that intends to include community[-based] conservation into its conservation practices. In particular, I explore how the organization’s volunteers understand and construct the relationship between community and conservation, and the ways this might impact operations. Using a community-based research approach, interviews (n=17) were conducted. The findings indicate that the volunteers are demographically homogenous, leading to a homogenous, Western-science informed understanding of community[-based] conservation. This perspective views involvement of community as a direct trade-off with optimal ecological goals. As the volunteers wield uncommon power in organizational governance, difference in opinions toward missions or operations could lead to constraints on the organization. This study contributes to larger academic discourses on environmental volunteers, land trusts, and frames of conservation, and provides tangible recommendations to an organization attempting to include community[-based] conservation in its practices. Author Keywords: community-based conservation, environmental governance, environmental volunteers, frames of conservation, land trusts, power
Statistical Analysis of the Hidden Patterns Found in the Burial Customs of MM/MH III – LM/LH IIIA1 Mainland Greece and Knossos
This study explores different ways of interpreting mainland and Knossian burial customs and assessing the manner in which they were used to explore themes of political and social status. In order to complete this study, correspondence analysis was applied to 98 tombs from Bronze Age (1700-1360 BCE) Knossos, Pylos, and Mycenae. Through the use of CA 14 hidden clusters and two hypotheses were generated and then analyzed in order to answer the following three research questions: can traditional explanations for the changes seen in Final Palatial Knossian burial customs be challenged; does the nature of Final Palatial burial customs support the theory of a mainland invasion; and can these patterns inform us about Knossian, Pylian, and Mycenaean society and the manners in which burials were used for social and political display. By answering these questions it became possible to understand Knossian, Pylian, and Mycenaean societies and their diverse uses of burial customs to display social and political status. Author Keywords: Burial Customs, Correspondence Analysis, Final Palatial Period, Mortuary Studies, Mycenaean Crete

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Format: 2024/02/28