Graduate Theses & Dissertations


Altered Hippocampal Regulation of Immediate Early Genes after Pentylenetetrazol-Induced Seizures
Seizures induce long-term changes in gene expression in the hippocampus. Experimental evidence has demonstrated a significant effect of epileptic activity on the activity of neurons that participate in complex cognitive and behavioural processes. The present series of experiments involving kindling with subconvulsive doses of PTZ demonstrates a link between seizures and altered immediate early gene expression within the hippocampus and dentate gyrus. In addition, newborn hippocampal neurons were shown to have decreased induction of plasticity-related genes, suggesting deficits in activity-dependent recruitment. These findings may shed light on the mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis and epilepsy-related hippocampal dysfunction in human patients. Author Keywords: hippocampus, IEGs, kindling, neurogenesis, seizures
Alpha and Omega
Game texts present unique and dynamic opportunities for lability: how readers can make choices while reading that alter the narrative's nature or outcome. Labile decisions are neither simply correct nor incorrect--the reader renders judgement to produce a desired outcome. When encountering labile challenges, players employ an interpretive strategy to resolve them. Many game texts tell stories. Games anticipate readers' interpretive strategies to orchestrate a desired result in labile narratives and manipulate players into inhabiting an identity in a variety of different ways. This thesis examines how Fallout 3 does so with periodically opposable intentions, mainly applying an inconsistent moral orthodoxy via the player character's father, but occasionally exhibiting the series' nihilistic philosophy that disdains American exceptionalism, undermining the orthodoxy. This isolates and breaks down the interpretive communities the player inhabits to play the game. Author Keywords: Exceptionalism, Identity, Lability, Morality, Narrative, Video Games
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
Alone in Power
The thesis uses three case studies of President Nixon’s foreign policy in South-east Asia to analyze presidential domestic-making. The theoretical concept of personality politics is used to analyze the Nixon administration and foreign policy. Nixon’s secretive nature combined with his mistrust of the press and bureaucracy to create an office structure that restricted the involvement and notification of others of his foreign policy. This thesis also takes into account the domestic climate that Nixon was operating within, including significant antiwar opposition, an adversarial media, and an ideologically opposed bureaucracy. Nixon’s foreign policy was ultimately the result of a perfect storm of factors. The president’s natural penchant for secrecy, along with his mistrust of the press and bureaucracy, combined with the American political environment that was in many instances ideologically set against him, also helped shape his foreign policy. Author Keywords: American Presidency, China, National Security Council, Richard Nixon, US Foreign Policy, 1969-1973, Vietnam War
All I've Found is Pain and Terror
This thesis is concerned with how specific aesthetic elements function in various contemporary texts to distort, obscure, or illuminate the immoral actions and behaviours being represented. This thesis applies the moral status philosophy of Mary Anne Warren, along with the moral philosophy of Emmanuel Lévinas and Zygmunt Bauman. Close reading and critical analysis are supported by Michele Aaron’s theory of spectatorship. The sublime is explored in Dexter (2006) and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986), the uncanny in Battlestar Galactica (2003) and Westworld (2016), and the abject in The Walking Dead (2003) and World War Z (2006). The intentions of this project are to conduct a formal examination of the relationship between audience and text as it is filtered through aesthetic representation and moral frameworks. This thesis argues that aesthetic effects must be understood in connection to morality for active consumers to engage with these texts as sites for ethical consideration. Author Keywords: aesthetic theory, moral status philosophy, Popular fiction, spectatorship, The Walking Dead, Westworld
Agro-Ecological Zoning (AEZ) of Southern Ontario and the Projected Shifts Caused by Climate Change in the Long-term Future
This thesis proposes an agro-ecological zoning (AEZ) methodology of southern Ontario for the characterization and mapping of agro-ecological zones during the historical term (1981-2010), and their shifts into the long-term (2041-2070) projected climate period. Agro-ecological zones are homogenous areas with a unique combination of climate, soil, and landscape features that are important for crop growth. Future climate variables were derived from Earth System Models (EMSs) using a high emission climate forcing scenario from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report. The spatiotemporal shifts in agro-ecological zones with projected climate change are analyzed using the changes to the length of growing period (LGP) and crop heat units (CHU), and their manifestation in agro-climatic zones (ACZ). There are significant increases to the LGP and CHU into the long-term future. Two historical ACZs exist in the long-term future, and have decreased in area and shifted northward from their historical locations. Author Keywords: Agro-climatic Zones, Agro-ecological Zones, Agro-ecological Zoning, Climate Change, Crop Heat Units, Length of Growing Period
Agriculture as Niche Construction
The Neolithic Period (c. 6200 – 4900 BC) in the Struma River Valley led to numerous episodes of cultural diversification. When compared with the neighbouring regions, the ecological characteristics of the Struma River Valley are particularly heterogeneous and the Neolithic populations must have adapted to this distinctive and localized ecological setting. It then becomes reasonable to ask if the evolution of cultural variability in the Struma River Valley was at least partially driven by the ecological setting and differentiation in the evolution of the early agricultural niche. In this thesis, I apply an approach based on niche construction theory and Maxent species distribution modeling in order to characterize the relationship between culture and ecology during each stage of the Neolithic Period and to assess diachronic change. An interpretation of the results demonstrates that the continuous reconstruction of the early agricultural niche allowed for settlement expansion into new eco-cultural niches presenting different natural selection pressures and that cultural change followed. I also found that cultural and historical contingencies played an equally important role on the evolution of populations and that ecological factors alone cannot account for the numerous episodes of cultural diversification that occurred throughout the region. Author Keywords: Agriculture, Bulgaria, Eco-cultural Niche Modeling, Greece, Neolithic, Niche Construction
Agricultural Intensification at Cerro de Oro (Cañete Valley, Peru)
Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of 571 archaeobotanical samples was performed to assess agricultural practices at Cerro de Oro in the Cañete Valley, Peru, during the transition between the Early Intermediate Period and the Middle Horizon. This thesis presents a comprehensive range of δ13C and δ15N values for the major C3 and C4 plant resources at the site. No differences were found in the δ15N values of charred and desiccated maize cobs, suggesting that both types of plant remains can provide reliable δ15N measurements. Generally, the δ15N values of plants at the site were relatively high, with the exception of most of the legumes, suggesting that organic fertilizers were extensively used. Camelid dung and fish offal are the most likely fertilizers used at Cerro de Oro, but some very high δ15N values suggest that seabird guano may also have been used. Peanuts, a legume, had higher δ15N values than would be expected for legumes, suggesting that this plant may have been companion-planted alongside maize or other more heavily fertilizer crops. Cotton had the highest δ13C value among all of the C3 plants sampled from the site, suggesting that this crop grew in the driest conditions, possibly reflecting a deficit irrigation system. This study reveals how intensive and extensive agriculture supported the emergence and growth of Cerro de Oro, a monumental site of great regional importance. Author Keywords: Andean Archaeology, Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotope Analysis, Cerro de Oro, Early Intermediate Period and Middle Horizon, Intensive and Extensive Agriculture, Plants
Agony of Writing Or Ambivalent Reversal In Baudrillard's Stylistic Metamorphoses
Following Baudrillard's conceptual and stylistic shift of the mid-70s, this thesis argues that said shift is accounted for by understanding the ontological quandary Baudrillard found himself in after developing a theoretical agonism impossible to divorce from the practice of writing. By tracing the conceptual metamorphoses of key terms including semiotic ambivalence, symbolic exchange and theoretical writing itself as a total agonistic process, this thesis demonstrates that theory is not reducible to epistemic production but is rather the contentious site of challenge and aesthetic (dis)appearance. Each chapter examines a conceptual tension revealing insoluble, conflicting social forms. These forms reveal the reversibility Baudrillard finds at work in all social phenomena. These culminate in a chapter that tackles Baudrillard's writing itself as a social form that endeavours to embody the agonistic theoretical concept as a process rather than remaining a representation, or commentary on, ambivalent social conflict. Author Keywords: agonist, ambivalence, Baudrillard, reversibility, style, writing
Age-Friendly for Whom?
In this thesis, I explore the question of what would make Peterborough a good or “age-friendly” place to grow old(er) from a diversity of perspectives within and outside the structures of Age-friendly Peterborough (AFP). This research further explores if and/or how AFP and the Age-friendly movement more broadly, can be used as a tool for visioning and enacting more just, equitable, and “age-friendly” aging futures. To answer these questions I used semi-structured interviews with individuals either presently or previously involved with Age-friendly Peterborough, and an intergenerational and arts-based workshop, “Imagining our Futures.” From the research findings, I argue that AFP has a significant role to play in making Peterborough a better place to grow old(er), while also outlining how dominant Age-friendly frameworks are limited in their ability to move us towards aging futures that are just, equitable, and “age-friendly.” Author Keywords: Age-Friendly Communities, Age-Friendly Movement, Aging Futures, Arts-Based Research, Interdependence, Successful Aging
After the Fall
Utilizing pre-existing scholarship on post-conflict reconstruction in twentieth-century Europe, as well as a variety of French primary sources, this thesis explores the concept of national-moral reconstruction as utilized by French political leaders in the wake of their country's defeat by Nazi Germany in June 1940. In particular, this study analyzes the competing discourses employed by the Vichy regime and the various organizations of the French Resistance, as each group sought to explain to a broader public both the causes of the French defeat, as well as the repercussions of the German occupation of the country from June 1940 to August 1944. While previous scholarship has emphasized the physical and/or economic dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction--especially when considered in the context of the Second World War--this thesis focuses on issues of cultural identity and national history/memory in order to look at how French political leaders hoped to reconstruct the moral and cultural, as opposed to the strictly physical, fabric of their country in the wake of the comprehensive social, political, and military disaster brought about by the German occupation. Author Keywords: collective memory, German occupation, national-moral reconstruction, Philippe Pétain, post-conflict reconstruction, Vichy France
After the Ash Fall
Mount Mazama, a large volcano located in the Cascade Range of Oregon, eruptedsome 7,000 cal. years BP. Following the volcanic eruption, a large portion of the northwestern region of the Great Plains of North America was covered by a thick layer of volcanic ash. The present research project is concerned with the impact of this catastrophic event on the subsistence patterns of the northwestern Plains groups during the early Archaic period (ca. 6,600–6,000 BP). More specifically, this research project tests the hypothesis that the eruption of Mount Mazama prompted the adoption of bone grease rendering in this part of the Plains. To test this hypothesis, a faunal analysis of the assemblages of Stampede site, located on the Cypress Hills of southeastern Alberta, was performed. The results of the analysis presented here show that the faunal material of the Stampede site is extensively burnt, which seems to be more in line with the intentional disposal of bones in hearth features, possibly for cleaning purposes, than with bone grease manufacture. The methodological issues regarding the identification of bone grease rendering from archaeozoological assemblages are discussed here. Author Keywords: Bone Grease Rendering, Carcass Processing Behaviour, Faunal Analysis, Great Plains, Northern Plains, Subsistence


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