Graduate Theses & Dissertations


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
Entertain Me
The scope of my scholarship has undergone a primarily interdisciplinary approach with an emphasis on historiographic scholarship and method, with the support of communication and sociological theory to underpin my core arguments in each chapter. I use the theories of Third Space, commodified racism, and common sense racism in combination to provide an in-depth analysis of prior scholarship on professional wrestling, contemporary and historic fan activities, and biographic information about professional wrestlers. My first chapter examines prior scholarly methodologies and approaches for broaching the topic of professional wrestling while providing a unique and effective alternative for negotiating with the complex and often-tenuous relationship between professional wrestling, race, and collective memory. I evaluate the seminal works that make up the body of previous professional wrestling scholarship, specifically focusing on dramaturgy as a scholarly approach that limits focus to in-ring performance. In Chapter 2, I provide an in-depth analysis of first-hand accounts by and about Black professional wrestlers, charting the ways in which commodified and common sense racism affect both their careers and personal perspectives on race. Drawing on the tradition of minstrelsy, the chapter defines the ways that Black professional wrestlers have been categorized as mere sources of entertainment rather than being portrayed as skilled, athletic, or serious contenders for wrestling titles. My third chapter assesses twenty-first century fan engagement with professional wrestling content within the context of online Third Spaces. The chapter highlights the points of ideological division amongst fans, who both support and resist the wrestling industry’s common sense and commodifying racism. Keywords: Pro wrestling; commodified racism, common sense racism, Third Space, critical race theory, American history, fan studies Author Keywords: commodified racism, common sense racism, critical race theory, fan studies, Pro wrestling, Third Space
Cartoons Ain't Human
Why show things that aren’t people acting like people? In the field of animation, it’s a surprisingly big “why?”, because it’s a “why?” that doesn’t lead to any sort of doctrine of ontology, of inevitability, of manifest destiny, or of anything like that. But it does lead to another “why?”—“why did anthropomorphic depictions of animals and non-human entities come to define an entire era of American short-form animation?” When we think about ‘classic era’ cartoon shorts, the first names that come to mind are likely to be those of anthropomorphic animal characters—Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and a list of others so numerous that any machine Wile E. Coyote tried to build to count them all would probably explode. This can make us lose sight of the fact that human characters had their place as well in these films: Bugs and Daffy regularly tangled with Elmer Fudd; the studio that made cartoon stars of Betty Boop and Popeye produced no famous animal characters at all in its heyday. And yet, it’s the animals that steal the show in the animated shorts produced by major studios in America from the 1920s through the 1960s. Part of their appeal lies in the fact that they were useful and recognizable substitutes for humans. Without making things too ‘personal’ for the audience, they could be used to examine and deconstruct social practices in the full-speed-ahead period that took America from World War I to the war in Vietnam. Animals weren’t the only ones to get a full-on anthropomorphic treatment in these shorts. Machines and other artefacts came to life and became sites of interrogation for contemporary anxieties about the twentieth century’s ever-expanding technological infrastructure; parts of the natural world, from plant life to the weather, acted with minds of their own in ways that harken back to the earliest animistic folk beliefs. No matter when or how it’s being used, anthropomorphism in animation is a device for answering, not one big “why?”, but a lot of little “why?”s. What you’re about to read is an exploration of a few of those little “why?”s. Author Keywords: America, Animation, Anthropomorphism, Cartoons, Deconstruction, Popular Culture
Assessing factors associated with wealth and health of Ontario workers after permanent work injury
I drew on Bourdieu’s theory of capital and theorized that different forms of economic, cultural and social capital which injured workers possessed and/or acquire over their disability trajectory may affect certain outcomes of permanent impairments. Using data from a cross-sectional survey of 494 Ontario workers with permanent impairments, I measured workers’ different indicators of capital in temporal order. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the unique association of workers’ individual characteristics, pre-injury capital, post-injury capital, and the outcomes of permanent impairments. The results show that factors related to individual characteristics, pre-injury and post-injury capital were associated with workers’ perceived health change, whereas pre-injury and post-injury capital were most relevant factors in explaining workers’ post-injury employment status and income recovery. When looking at the significance of individual predictors, post-injury variables were most relevant in understanding the outcomes of permanent impairment. The findings suggest that many workers faced economic and health disadvantages after permanent work injury. Author Keywords: Bourdieu, hierarchical regression, theory of capital, work-related disability, workers with permanent impairments
How Did We Get Here? Exploring Socio-Political Influences in Canadian Penitentiaries
This thesis examines how political and social issues have molded and alteredCanada’s penal system since the nineteenth-century. From early Anglo-Canadian society to Joseph Archambault’s 1938 Report of the Royal Commission to Investigate the Penal System of Canada, the Canadian penal system waxed and waned against social and political tides. As rehabilitative justice took hold throughout the developed world in the early twentieth century, Canada attempted to shift its justice ideologies only to find that punitive justice had created strong footings. This made reform challenging to implement. Author Keywords: Archambault Report, Canadian penal system, Canadian prisons, prison press, prison systems, prison writing
Determinants of Deviance
Background: Researchers have provided evidence that attachment may be independently linked to early adversity and criminal behaviour. In this study, I examined the combined associations among these variables in a student and community sample. Method: The first study consisted of undergraduate students (n = 590) who completed surveys to assess early adversity (Felitti, et al., 1988), attachment (Scharfe, 2016), and criminal behaviours. Participants were grouped based on their reports of adverse experiences and engagement in criminal behaviour. The second study was a replication of the first using a community sample (n = 294). Results: My hypotheses were partially supported, and my findings were consistent across Study 1 and Study 2. As I expected, there was a significant main effect for adversity when examining the mean scores of the attachment representations for attachment to mothers (Study 1 F (16, 1763.402) = 3.61, p < .001; Study 2 (F (16, 849.942) = 2.377, p = .002) and attachment to fathers (Study 1 F (16, 1763.402) = 4. 349, p < .001; Study 2 (F (16, 840.776) = 3.067 p < .001)). From examining the means, I concluded that participants who reported greater adversity reported higher insecure-avoidant and lower secure attachment to mothers and fathers. There were no significant main effects for criminal behaviour or significant interaction effects. Impact: To date, no study has explored all three variables explicitly. My findings are able to highlight the critical importance of secure attachment relationships and add further comprehension to exploring factors associated to criminal behaviour. Author Keywords: Attachment, Criminal Behaviour, Early Adversity
Retrograde Amnesia of Fear Memories Following Pentylenetetrazol Kindling
Memories pertaining to fearful events are some of the most salient and long-lasting memories, as they are critical to the survival of an organism. Seizures induce aberrant changes within temporal lobe and limbic brain structures that are critical for supporting fear memories. Seizures can occur at any time; therefore, it is imperative that research address how seizures impact previously learned information. The present series of experiments demonstrate that pentylenetetrazol-kindling induces retention deficits of previously acquired context fear memories in male rats. Kindling induced subsequent fear learning deficits but did not impact spatial learning. Additionally, following kindling, volumetric increase was observed within the hippocampal subfield CA3, as well as increased neural activation within the hippocampal subfield CA1. The results of this work suggests that chronic seizures can alter the function of neural networks important for supporting and retrieving previously acquired memories. Author Keywords: amygdala, anterograde amnesia, context fear conditioning, hippocampus, retrograde amnesia, seizures
Racism in Argentina and the Blackness Problem. The Change in Perception of Afro-Descendants in Buenos Aires and the New Dimensions of Blackness in Argentina (1880-1930)
This thesis examines racism in Argentina between 1880 and 1930. The governing elite's efforts to whiten the Argentine population at the end of the nineteenth century led to the erasure and discrimination of anyone who did not have Caucasian features: Afro-descendants, mulattos, mestizos, and creoles. However, in the 1930s, whitening policies proved to have limited success. On the one hand, Afro-descendants were praised by the middle and lower classes of Buenos Aires; on the other hand, the Great Depression's effects made it clear that the Argentine population was made up of an ethnic mixture that had much darker skin tones than the whitening elite preferred. This work will show how the impact of the 1930s global crisis, as well as the enthusiasm for Afro-descendants, reinforced the racism that still existed, and will demonstrate that blackness became more than a racial but also a class connotation. Author Keywords: Afro-descendants press, Blackness in Argentina, Buenos Aires Press, Cultural Constructions, Popular Blackness, Racial Identity
Story is Medicine
This is a story within a story that spans over a hundred years and four generations. It takes the reader from war-torn Russia during a famine to the urban streets of Toronto and then to the Canadian North. The story is a memoirette, or a ‘not quite long enough, but almost a memoir’ of a mother’s journey navigating life after her son discloses his addiction to Fentanyl. The mother finds little if any support from family, friends or conventional support programs and instead turns to her oma’s harrowing stories of survival as a source of knowledge, strength and medicine. The analysis explores storytelling as a legitimate method of learning, pedagogy and research. It explores the concept of story as medicine through Etuaptmumk. A Two-Eyed Seeing framework created by Mi’kmaq elders in 2004 (Sylliboy, Latimer, Marshall & McLeod, 2009). The power of the narrative is discussed through ‘Western’ and ‘Indigenous’ lenses. Author Keywords: addiction, Etuaptmumk, Fentanyl, story as medicine, story as pedagogy, Two-Eyed Seeing
Landscape and its Discontents - Art and Ruins, a Critical Topography in Word and Image
From Altdorfer and Poussin to Cézanne, Monet and to the Group of Seven, landscape has been a focal point of artistic inspiration for most of what we think of as modern art history. In contemporary times the concept and representation of landscape has shifted from visions of an idealized and exalted place to notions of the landscape as a ruins and site of ecological disaster. Because of this seismic inversion, artists are no longer solely making visual the beauty and serenity of nature but are rather finding novel ways of problematizing it and incorporating themes of its eventual disappearance, its inescapable transformation into ruins. The following dissertation puts forward a critical topographical study of three sites and three different artists who deal with this new found relationship to landscape. The three landscapes are located in different parts of the world and from different artistic contexts yet showing that they retain an aesthetic and conceptual character that links them together is part of the work of the dissertation. The first site is El Sol del Membrillo, a film by Víctor Erice in which the filmmaker chronicles painter Antonio Lopez García’s attempts to paint the ephemeral, he attempts to paint that which is in the act of disappearing. The second site is The Mill St Cemetery in Cambridge, England where artist Gordon Young has contributed a work of public art titled Bird Stones that blurs the line between landscape, sculpture, monument and artwork. The third and final site is Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto, Canada that presents itself as an ecology park of retrieval, recovery and as a public art space. My investigation of this last regional research site is offered both as a chapter and as a videography about wilderness as wasteland. Author Keywords: Aesthetics, Anthropocene, Art, Cinema, El Sol del Membrillo, Toronto: The Leslie Spit
Food insecurity among racialized international students
The notion that food insecurity only occurs in the absence of food is prevalent in society. This perception is too narrow and insufficient to capture the diverse manifestations and experiences of food insecurity. In this thesis, I adopt a more expansive approach to examine food (in)security through the lenses of adequacy, quality, and availability of culturally relevant food. I look specifically at the experiences of racialized international students from diverse backgrounds, to empirically ground this approach to understanding food (in)security. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data, this study explores the perceptions and real-life experiences of racialized international students who study at Trent University and University of Toronto. These two institutions were selected based on cultural diversity and variation, proximity to culturally appropriate food and the cost involved in accessing culturally appropriate food. Beyond that, I examine structural and policy elements that may be exacerbating the challenge of food security among this category of students. Clearly, issues related to food insecurity and hunger within all spatial configurations are urgent, however, there is a scarcity of literature that zeroes in on the experiences of racialized international students specifically. In the wake of the dramatic internationalization of post-secondary Canadian schools, issues of foreign students’ welfare cannot be overlooked, hence, I narrowed my research lenses to study the character of racialized international students’ inadequate access to culturally appropriate food. Upon analyzing the survey data gathered from 107 racialized international students coupled with semi-structured in-depth interviews with 8 racialized students, I found evidence that culturally appropriate foodstuffs were not abundant in supply for racialized international students. Consequently, the low supply of this category of foodstuffs translates into higher levels of prices which deter racialized international students from making adequate purchases to meet their taste and preference. As part of the findings, the students mentioned that the high cost of tuition, as well as other school-related expenditures are structural policy barriers that leave them with meagre amounts of income to spend on culturally appropriate food items. Under such circumstances, racialized international students are left with the option of purchasing fewer quantities of culturally relevant foodstuffs that meet their daily nutritional requirements. The study further revealed that the challenge of food insecurity poses a threat to the academic achievement and psycho-social well-being of affected students. In addressing these challenges, I propose that the government as well as the school authorities should consider reducing the tuition fees to lessen the financial burden on students. Apart from that, stocking grocery stores and creating culturally appropriate food supply centers in and around school campuses may be helpful. Also, the international offices of universities should intensify welfare programs that entail periodic needs assessment of international students. This will offer the school authorities timely support services to students as and when it is needed. In conclusion, I wish to state that this study seeks to add to the recently growing strand of literature that examines the intersectionality between internationalization of post-secondary schools and food insecurity. The findings provide important and preliminary evidence underpinning the experiences of racialized international students with the phenomenon of food insecurity, thereby providing a point of departure for additional research on the broader nature of intersections between food insecurity and racialization. Author Keywords: Canada, Culture, Food insecurity, International Students, Race, Universities


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