All theses are available at Carleton University Research Virtual Environment, CURVE.
Kaitlyn Benson, “Making Motoring American: The Integration of the Working Class in Automobile Film Advertising of the 1930s” (2015).
Supervisors: James Opp and Andrew Johnston.
- Kaitlyn Benson Abstract
This thesis examines a selection of automobile film advertisements from 1930 to America’s formal declaration of war in 1941 as a means of analyzing the cultural narrative associated with automobile promotion throughout the Great Depression. The films depict the white, working-class male as the model driver and the automobile as a bastion of safety, as well as the key to a prosperous economy. While this shift in the representation of the automobile and its driver can be attributed in part to the reported saturation of the automobile market through the latter part of the 1920s and the economic uncertainty of the 1930s, semiotic analysis of the films indicates that the change was more than an effort to attract prospective consumers. Rather, the films’ idealization of the working class was tailored to present a narrative of motoring that supported automakers and industrial capitalism in a period when both were being challenged.
Kathryn Boschmann, “Being Irish on the Prairies: Repertoire, performance, and environment in oral history narratives of Winnipeg Irish Canadians” (2015).
Supervisors: Joanna Dean and Bruce Elliott.
- Kathryn Boschmann Abstract
This thesis applies Diana Taylor’s concept of repertoire to oral history interviews with ten first generation Irish Canadians living in Winnipeg who emigrated between 1957 and 2012. It argues that traditional performances, such as music and dance, have acquired a provenance with particular histories. This has made them both meaningful and politically contentious expressions of Irish identity. Memory tensions emerged when the performances were integrated into a new repertoire in Canada. Taylor’s concept is modified and applied to embodied encounters with landscape and weather. As experiences of a new place are incorporated into a spatial repertoire, they become infused with emotional significance, and emigrants’ stories about visiting Ireland, surviving Manitoban winters, or driving across flat prairie spaces, communicate feelings of displacement and belonging. Accompanying this thesis is a website which further explores emotional memories in these interviews through an audio exhibit (www.beingirishontheprairies.ca).
Dahay Daniel, “The Comforts of Coffee: The Role of the Coffee Ceremony in Ethiopians’ Efforts to Cope with Social Upheaval during the Derg Regime (1974-1991)” (2016).
Supervisor: Susanne Klausen.
- Dahay Daniel Abstract
This thesis explores a dark chapter in Ethiopia’s recent history. In 1974, student-led demonstrations overthrew the long-reigning Emperor Haile Selassie; however, the lack of political organization allowed a small group of military men to seize power. The military regime, known as the Provisional Administrative Military Council, or Derg, completely transformed Ethiopian life. Religious, traditional, and social gatherings were fundamental to Ethiopian culture and gave Ethiopians a sense of security and identity. In addition to widespread violence, the government attacked many religious and cultural institutions by prohibiting gatherings, suppressing religious practice and by enforcing a state ban on mourning – all of which was meant to destabilize Ethiopian society. One tradition that appears to have been unaffected by the regime was the Ethiopian coffee ceremony. This thesis examines why the coffee ceremony may have evaded the government’s radar as well as how it became a way for Ethiopians to cope with the social upheaval.
Connie Gunn, “The Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Constructing Public Memory and Preserving History in a Changing City, 1898-1932” (2016).
Supervisors: John Walsh and Joanna Dean.
- Connie Gunn Abstract
This thesis examines the membership and work of the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa from 1898 to 1932. Through commemorations, historical tableaux, exhibitions of artefacts, and the publication, Transactions, they participated in the construction of a nationalist and imperialist collective memory, celebrating connections to the British Empire, a mythologized settler past, and Ottawa’s evolution from lumber town to national capital. Analysis of the origins, class and ethnicity of the Society shows that French-Canadian participation fell and membership broadened as Ottawa became a government town. The thesis describes competition from the male-dominated Bytown Pioneer Association in 1923 over the commemoration of Colonel By, and it posits that the masculinization of the historical profession led the Society to abandon written accounts in Transactions, and focus upon the collection and display of artefacts in the Bytown Museum.
Natalie Belinda Hunter, “Making Connections, Imagining New Worlds: Women, Writing, and Resistance in Paris, 1897-1910” (2016).
Supervisor: Susan Whitney.
- Natalie Belinda Hunter Abstract
This thesis examines two groups of women who lived and wrote in fin-de-siècle Paris. Marguerite Durand and the contributors to La Fronde used their writing to invade the male sector of journalism and prove they were capable of doing what men could, but doing it for women and without any men involved. Natalie Barney and Renée Vivien used poetry and theatre to remake Sappho’s tradition in a way that prioritized her desire for women and her centrality to Lesbos’s community of women to challenge sexological discourses that posited their own desires as isolating and corrupt. These case studies, taken together for the first time, suggest new lines of historical inquiry into women and how they used different types of writing in resistance to normative discourses that restricted them and their lives in Paris between 1897 and 1910.
Evan Brent Jones, “Order and Emotion: The Rhetoric of Disgust in Peter the Venerable’s Adversus Iudaeos” (2016).
Supervisor: Marc Saurette.
- Evan Brent Jones Abstract
This thesis examines the definition of religious orthodoxy promulgated by Peter the Venerable in the Adversus Iudaeos, a twelfth-century anti-Judaic polemic. Scholars have thus far categorized this polemic as a typical and traditional guidebook designed to aid monks in the refutation of Jews using scripture, logical argumentation, and an engagement with post-biblical Jewish holy text (and in this case, the Talmud). Despite this categorization, scholars have neglected to discuss the role of emotions in categorizing Judaism. I argue that Peter uses the emotional rhetoric of disgust to alter the traditional polemical purpose ascribed to it. When Peter compares Jews to “useless vomit”, he suggests that a Jewish way of thinking is filthy and worthy of disgust. These acts allow Peter the ability to unify and define his own version of Christian thought, and contrast it with the framework of thinking adopted by his rival monastic group, the Cistercians.
Ronald John Martini, “The Reconfiguration of Eighteenth-Century Scottish Historiography: Dialogues Between the Present and the Past” (2016).
Supervisor: Mark Phillips.
- Ronald John Martini Abstract
Changes occurred to the writing of History in eighteenth-century Scotland. Dissatisfied with traditional historical priorities, eighteenth-century Scottish historians changed the focus of their writing to reflect what they felt was more relevant to contemporary sensibilities, giving new importance to the social aspects of daily life, the inward life of the sentiments, and the history of manners. The long-standing historiographical model of the classical tradition, which had given precedence to the history of kings, public affairs and the political, gave way to a variety of new historical genres. This refocusing of historiographical emphasis was a response to a vibrant commercial society, to the era’s social interests, to the period’s predilection for delicate sensibilities and refined feelings, and to a burgeoning middle class.
One of these new genres of historical writing was called conjectural history. A uniquely inventive eighteenth-century discursive form, conjectural history was unlike traditional history in methodology, and was differentiated by its ability to surmount traditional history’s intrinsic boundaries. Conjectural history inferred and speculated, as it strove to better understand the fundamental principles of human nature. Based on these changes to historical writing, this study asks a methodological question, and it looks at several different examples of the various historical genres being written at this time.
Paige McDonald, “If Japan Should Attack: Perceptions of Fear and Threat in British Columbia’s Newspapers, 1941-1943” (2016).
Supervisor: Norman Hillmer.
- Paige McDonald Abstract
From 1941 to 1943, incidents in the Pacific theatre of the Second World War seemed to bring the conflict closer and closer to the shores of British Columbia. Anxieties about a potential Japanese attack began to grow. British Columbia’s newspapers discussed fear and anxiety through their articles, editorials and opinion pieces, bringing together the thoughts and words of Canada’s military and government officials, and the writers and readers of the newspapers. The newspaper pieces dealing with the potential threat appeared most frequently surrounding major events in the Pacific, notably the attack on Pearl Harbor, the shelling of Estevan Point, and the Japanese occupation of the Aleutian Islands. Fear and threat were presented, debated, and reshaped within these newspaper communities. As the nature of the Japanese threat evolved with each major incident in the Pacific, so too did the discussions of fear.
Renee Elaine McFarlane, “Conflict and Conservation: A Human History of Animals in Gatineau Park, 1938-1958” (2016).
Supervisor: Joanna Dean.
- Renee Elaine McFarlane Abstract
This thesis explores the shifting human perceptions of wildlife in Gatineau Park, Quebec, from 1938 to 1958, and argues that these views came into conflict with the actual animals that roamed there. It draws upon records of the Federal District Commission, animal studies methodology, and naturalists’ field observations to demonstrate that non-human animals, as much as human animals, shaped the conservation practices that developed in the park. White-tailed deer and their predators frustrated attempts to order and classify them as they transgressed physical and conceptual boundaries: deer were domesticated, farm dogs went wild, and “brush wolves” challenged taxonomic boundaries by breeding with coyotes. Upon their reintroduction beavers “destroyed” park landscapes, defying Grey Owl’s construction of the beaver as a symbol of wildlife conservation. These encounters with animals challenged the expectations of rural residents, park visitors, and the Ottawa Ski Club who called for the removal of troublesome beavers and wolves.
Matthew Joseph Moore, ““The Kiss of Death Bestowed with Gratitude”: The Postwar Treatment of Canada’s Second World War Merchant Navy, Redress, and the Negotiation of Veteran Identity” (2016).
Supervisors: John Walsh and Tim Cook.
- Matthew Joseph Moore Abstract
This thesis focuses on the Merchant Navy’s redress campaign and appraises shifting government attitudes towards the mariners in veterans’ legislation. It traces the wartime experience of the mariners and discusses their postwar treatment. By examining the factors that contributed to the mariners’ initial exclusion as veterans, this study sheds light on the complex process whereby the state evaluates and then reassesses what is owed to those who serve. It demonstrates that concepts of “veteranhood” are fluid, and, that in the case of the Merchant Navy, once neglected wartime narratives can be reincorporated into the nation’s military past. In the case of the Merchant Navy, renewed public engagement with Canada’s social memory of its involvement in two world wars helped the merchant seamen find an audience willing to validate their claims. This study of Merchant Navy redress serves as an exploration into the nature of the state-veteran relationship.
Alisha Seguin, “Remembering the Civil Service: Work and Life Stories of Indigenous Labourers in the Canadian Federal Civil Service” (2015).
Supervisor: John Walsh.
- Alisha Seguin Abstract
This thesis examines the memories and experiences of six Indigenous civil servants who worked in the Canadian federal public service from the late 1960s until today. Special attention has been paid to the role of identity; these women and men mediated their cultural identities as Indigenous peoples with their economic identities as federal civil servants. To contextualize these lived experiences, this thesis also explores the development of a culture of merit, representation, and employment equity within the federal civil service in the mid to late twentieth century. As an oral history study, this thesis takes on a very personal note because each research partner narrates their stories of work within the frame of an entire life lived. This has allowed for anunderstanding of not only the perceptions of each narrator regarding the civil service as a place of employment, but also the role and meaning of this work within each individual life as a whole. As a result, this thesis argues that the complexity of individual experiences, identity formation, and memory makes it difficult to generalize about “the Indigenous civil servant” in anymeaningful way. Relatedly, this thesis also emphasizes both the enriching possibilities and the unique challenges of conducting life story oral interviews and “sharing authority” incollaborative research projects.
Evan Sidebottom, “The Man Who Could Go Either Way: The Many Faces of Cowboy Masculinity in 1950s American Film and Advertising” (2016).
Supervisor: Andrew Johnston.
Andrew Sopko, “An (Im)Balance of Expectations: Civil Defence in Ottawa, 1951-1962” (2015).
Supervisor: Norman Hillmer.
- Andrew Sopko Abstract
Throughout the Cold War, the world lived with the fear that international tensions might lead to the outbreak of a devastating nuclear conflict. This fear drove Canadian policy makers to pursue civil defence, which entailed the organization of local communities and patriotic citizens to assist with the defence of their country by preparing for a nuclear conflict. Ottawa, as the national capital, was a possible target of a nuclear strike by the Soviet Union. From 1950-1962, the high watermark of civil defence, the city uneasily managed to reconcile the competing interests of stakeholders and the public with its civic responsibilities, evolving circumstances, and changeable federal policies. In the end, however, municipal squabbling pushed balance over the line into imbalance, and Ottawa’s civil defence program came crashing down.
Ann Walton, “Studying the Art of Growing Old with Metchnikoff, Hauser, Lowman, and Thompson: Advice about Aging, 1900-1960” (2016).
Supervisor: B. McKillop.
- Ann Walton Abstract
This work explores shifting attitudes about aging in the first half of the twentieth century by tracing the rise of four figures, and by examining discussions that surrounded their work on aging in the press. Bacteriologist Élie Metchnikoff, food scientist Gayelord Hauser, and advice columnists Josephine Lowman and Elizabeth Thompson were seen as authorities on their subjects and wrote during a period of significant change: increased longevity, the advent of retirement, and growing scientific interest in aging produced a plethora of press discussion that plunged into the “problem” of old age. Their ‘prescriptions’ captivated attention in both Canada and the United States, illustrating the growing search for management and improvement that dominated discussions of aging. It is argued that while aging became the specialization of experts who studied it objectively, popular messages relayed that there was an “art” to growing old, its success determined by preparation, attitude, and personal will.
Alex Philip Wilkinson Cruddas, “The Future in Stone: Architecture as Expression of National Socialist Temporality” (2016).
Supervisor: Jennifer Evans.
- Alex Philip Wilkinson Cruddas Abstract
Working alongside Adolf Hitler, architect Albert Speer pioneered his theory of Ruinenwert, or “ruin value”, which was employed in the design of monumental architectural projects. These structures were designed to evoke imagery of the Nazi’s contemporary power and ideology and were created to function as lieux de mémoire (“places of memory”) for subsequent generations of Aryans, providing heroic ruins for a future audience imagined as both bearers of the regime’s cultural legacy and witness to its destruction. The regime itself was understood to possess the contradictory qualities of the eternal and terminal, and its architecture was to reflect this. Little attention has been given to contextualizing the architecture of temporality National Socialism within the regime’s greater culture of future-mindedness. This work seeks to establish connections between existing discussions of National Socialist architectural futurity and those that explore the regime’s fascination with its own future more broadly.
Naomi Alisa Calnitsky, “Harvest Histories: A Social History of Mexican Farm Workers in Canada since 1974” (2017).
- Naomi Alisa Calnitsky Abstract
While concerns and debates about an increased presence of non-citizen guest workers in agriculture in Canada have only more recently begun to enter the public arena, this dissertation probes how migrant agricultural workers have occupied a longer and more complex place in Canadian history than most Canadians may approximate. It explores the historical precedents of seasonal farm labour in Canada through the lens of the interior or the personal on the one hand, through an oral history approach, and the external or the structural on the other, in dialogue with existing scholarship and through a critical assessment of the archive. Specifically, it considers the evolution of seasonal farm work in Manitoba and British Columbia, and traces the eventual rise of an “offshore” labour scheme as a dominant model for agriculture at a national scale.
Taking 1974 as a point of departure for the study of circular farm labour migration between Mexico and Canada, the study revisits questions surrounding Canadian views of what constitutes the ideal or injurious migrant worker, to ask critical questions about how managed farm labour migration schemes evolved in Canadian history. In addition, the dissertation explores how Mexican farm workers’ migration to Canada since 1974 formed a part of a wider and extended world of Mexican migration, and seeks to record and celebrate Mexican contributions to modern Canadian agriculture in historical contexts involving diverse actors. In exploring the contexts that have driven Mexican out-migration and transnational integration, it bridges oral accounts with a broader history that sets Mexican northward migration in hemispheric context. It reads agricultural migration upon various planes, including corporeality, experience, identity, masculinity, legality, “contra-modernity,” and the management of mobilities.
Sean Eedy, “Comic Books and Culture in the German Democratic Republic, 1955-1990: Between Constructions of Power and Childhood.” (2016)
Supervisor: Jennifer Evans.
- Sean Eedy Abstract
In 1955, the East German Socialist Unity Party issued the Regulations for the Protection of Youth as a means of controlling publications for children and young people coming across the relatively open German-German border. At the same time, the regime authorized the creation of socialist comics in order to fill the gaps these regulations left in children’s entertainment. However, as socialist alternatives to the perceived trash and filth represented by western comics and American influence, these East German comics were employed as extensions of the regime’s education system, delivering the state’s ideology in its efforts to develop the socialist personality among youth and generate genuine enthusiasm for the construction of state-socialism. Just as these comics organized children’s activities and leisure time, they were taken up and read by East German children who made their own meanings of the publications’ contents. As much as these comics were meant to fulfill the state’s ideological agendas and foster the spirit of socialism within these readers, the children themselves understood comics in terms of the perceived freedoms they allowed. As such, children projected their own desires, interests, and tastes upon these publications. These expectations limited the range of actions available to the regime for drawing these readers into participation with socialism and the SED-state.
This dissertation approaches the subject of comics in the German Democratic Republic as constructions of state power and, in keeping with Foucault’s governmentality thesis, as levers of power that allowed for the perpetuation of SED control. As children understood comics in ways different from the regime, comics are also examined in terms of Jürgen Habermas’ critical public sphere insofar as they provided space for child-readers to make their own sense of the SED-state and the society around them despite these constructions of power. To this end, this dissertation examines archival records of the GDR youth groups and issues of Verlag Junge Welt’s comics and children’s magazines. This study argues that GDR comics were constructions of the regime’s power at the same time that they provided fantasies of empowerment, escapism, and constructive of the experience of childhood under socialism.
Jane Elizabeth Cooper Freeland, “Behind Closed Doors: Domestic Violence, Citizenship and State-Making in Divided Berlin, 1969-1990” (2016).
Supervisor: Jennifer Evans.
- Jane Elizabeth Cooper Freeland Abstract
This dissertation investigates the approaches taken to address domestic violence in East and West Berlin between 1969 and 1990. Both Germanys created a language to define domestic violence, which not only reflected and reinforced their self-definition as liberal or socialist states, but did so in a way that had important consequences for women and marginalized communities. Indeed, the contested interactions between the state, activists and citizens in responding to gender violence often centred on competing ideas on the role of gender and gender equality in society.
Through an analysis of official state and grassroots responses to domestic violence, this dissertation argues that in addressing these forms of violence, competing visions of citizenship were negotiated by politicians, everyday Germans and activists alike. Although official efforts often only solidified normative heteropatriarchal visions of gender relationships, activists from either side of the Berlin Wall used citizenship as a standpoint to critique the state for failing to protect women from violence. Despite different levels of support available to women living with abusive partners in East and West, women across Germany were primarily responsible for tackling domestic violence and fomenting everyday gender equality. Placing the stories of East and West together then, makes these historically constituted processes of women’s marginalization visible, highlighting the similarities that existed across the Berlin Wall, despite very different political systems.
This research, one of the first in depth historical examinations of domestic violence in Germany, sheds light on the role of gender in the postwar processes of state-making in East and West by examining how domestic abuse was addressed and discussed at the state level, by feminist activists and by citizens, critically looking at how this impacted women’s lives and their ability to leave a violent partner. This not only provides insight into how women’s voices are heard within and by the state, but it also draws our attention to the way violence works to create and reinforce gendered forms of citizenship.
Sarah Hogenbirk, “Women Inside the Canadian Military,1938-1966” (2017).
Supervisors: Joanna Dean and Norman Hillmer.
- Sarah Hogenbirk Abstract
This dissertation inserts servicewomen into military history and women’s and gender history by analyzing how women voiced their place in the Canadian military between 1938 and 1966. It studies how women negotiated the conditions of their service during the Second World War, resisted demobilization in 1946, and shaped the terms on which women entered the forces permanently in 1966. Drawing on official texts, unofficial histories, and personal scrapbooks, the thesis identifies the voices of women who pursued military careers and makes three arguments. First, women have actively negotiated with defence officials for a place in the armed services in war and peace. Second, servicewomen have adopted a perspective that went beyond the war in their plans for future service and their reflections on past service. Third, servicewomen crafted their legacies and pushed for recognition of female military expertise. The thesis moves beyond Ruth Roach Pierson’s pioneering work on women in the Second World War to consider women’s long-term identifications with the forces.
Chapter one covers the establishment of the wartime women’s services. Chapter two studies wartime debates over alcohol and sexual (im)morality. Chapter three analyzes reports on the future of women in the forces written in 1946 by Acting Captain Adelaide Sinclair, Lieutenant-Colonel Daisy Royal, and an unnamed senior member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Chapter four examines women’s continued participation in the military community through veteran’s organizations and cadet groups, and discussions over their place in the armed services between 1946 and 1955. Chapter five concentrates on a 1965 study recommending a permanent place for women in the services. Chapter six explores how servicewomen narrated their histories in scrapbooks and unofficial histories.
The research answers Cynthia Enloe’s appeal to listen carefully to women inside the military, and identifies ways women’s voices have been silenced, by both defence officials and scholars. The thesis highlights the military as a site of feminism, linking paramilitary women, servicewomen, veteran’s organizations, and cadets. Studying women’s negotiation of their military roles and their history reveals the policing of gender norms in the armed services, Canadian society, and the scholarship of the Second World War.
Emmanuel Hogg, “Kicking Through the Wall:Football, Division, and Entanglement in Postwar Berlin” (2017).
Supervisor: Jennifer Evans.
- Emmanuel Hogg Abstract
Seldom is the German capital referred to as a “Fußballstadt” (“football-city”). When Berlin and football are mentioned together, themes of corruption, hooliganism, the Stasi, and scandal dominate. And yet, Berlin holds a rich footballing history that dates back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and has long played an important role in the lives of Berliners as spaces for sociability.
In the postwar period, two divergent states emerged, each with their own competing structures of football. Whereas in the Federal Republic football remained an autonomous but not apolitical space, it was explicitly politicized in East Germany. As an important form of “soft power” during the Cold War, the people’s game reveals the extent to which the Iron Curtain was much more porous and elastic than the imagery of the Berlin Wall suggests. Rather than view football as “war without the fighting”, a microcosm that interprets the German and Cold War past as simplistic, reductive, and dichotomous, this dissertation analyzes the sport’s inherent dynamism that presented Berliners on both sides of the Wall with unique spaces for social interaction.
Although both German states tried to use the sport to assert their own interests, this dissertation argues that football simultaneously provided fans with a relatively free space authorities could not effectively control, opening the opportunity for German-German interactions. Revealing these spaces of German entanglement provides a nuanced interpretation for the ways division was experienced, constructed, and negotiated during the Cold War and after the Wende.
Joel Eugene Kropf, “Pursuing Human Techniques of Progressive Justice: The Ethical Assumptions of Early-to-Mid-Twentieth Century English-Canadian Penal Reformers” (2015).
Supervisor: B. McKillop.
- Joel Eugene Kropf Abstract
In all portions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, at least a little of the commentary in Canada concerning criminal justice discussed reforms that might in some way make for a more promising genre of penal activity in the colony or country. This dissertation allows us to probe reformist commentary from the first two thirds of the twentieth century, primarily discourse between 1920 and the mid-1950s regarding imprisonment and parole-related measures pertaining to adult men. Scholarship on nineteenth- or twentieth-century reformist penal activity, or on social reform more generally, has often identified ways in which such activity proved quite consonant with more conservative assumptions or outcomes than would sit well with present-day progressive readers. My dissertation, by contrast, numbers among the studies which associate penal reformers’ outlook primarily with liberal or progressive perspectives. In this particular study, the liberal tenor of their mentality will register in our minds through an assessment of the ethical assumptions that reformers displayed, especially their assumptions concerning condemnation, exclusion, coercion, and compassion. Reformers’ speeches, publications, and so forth allow us to highlight four “moral sources” due to which they thought their penal perspective qualified as compelling: Christianity, the notion of humanness, the meritoriousness of technique, and the idea of justice. Their commentary assigned priority to technique-related rhetoric, to statements that associated penal activity, including rehabilitative tactics, with instrumentalist plans through which “the protection” with which the citizenry was enamoured would materialize. Yet even though reformers’ arguments savoured primarily of instrumentalist assumptions, neither justice nor compassion was wholly neglected in their discourse. In fact, reformers hit upon a defensible affirmation of quasi-compassionate ideas thanks to instrumentalist rhetoric itself.
Nicole Teresa Marion, “Canada’s Disarmers: The Complicated Struggle Against Nuclear Weapons, 1959-1963” (2017).
Supervisors: Norman Hillmer and Susan Whitney.
- Nicole Teresa Marion Abstract
This dissertation investigates the motivations, messages, and methods of Canadians who organized in opposition to nuclear weapons between 1959 and 1963. The efforts of Canadian anti-nuclear movements have been undervalued in histories of disarmament activism. Canadian disarmers have been dismissed as quiet in comparison to better-known movements in the United States and in Great Britain. This dissertation demonstrates that there were in fact complex and vigorous expressions of anti-nuclear sentiment in Cold War Canada. Canadian disarmers may have been few in number, and may have been conservative in their protest methods, but they were committed participants in an international struggle to protect humanity from the threat of nuclear war.
There were many Canadian movements in opposition to the Bomb, both organized and disorganized, which were shaped by the diverse relationships that disarmers had to the world around them. Disarmers’ endeavours were informed by engagements with feminisms, Western ideals of masculinity, parents’ desires to protect their children, young people’s hopes to inherit a world of peace and prosperity, longstanding ideas about social protest, concerns over domestic politics, and enthusiasm for international cooperation. Focusing on the various ways in which Canadians worked for disarmament in the early 1960s, this study demonstrates how much often divided and sometimes isolated disarmament organizations shared.
This dissertation is the first extended historical analysis of anti-nuclear efforts in Canada in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It is also a necessary revision of the existing historiography on disarmament activism. This dissertation brings together diverse literatures on Canada’s Sixties; American, British, and Western European disarmament and peace movements; connected social movements such as the New Left, feminist movements, and environmental movements; and histories of children and childhood. The thesis offers a reassessment of these movements and their importance to an understanding of Cold War social and political dynamics.
Mike McLaughlin, “Irish Catholic Voluntary Associations in the Canadian Liberal Order, 1840-1882” (2016).
Supervisor: Bruce Elliott.
- Mike McLaughlin Abstract
This study will explore the ways in which Irish Catholic voluntary associations engaged with the Canadian liberal order in the nineteenth century by focusing especially on three specific associations that were formed at particular times to confront particular social problems: temperance societies, the Catholic League, and Home Rule branches. Some of these organizations opposed liberalism and the liberal state, while others disseminated liberal values. Some, like temperance societies, did both. Informed by Ian McKay’s Liberal Order Framework, I have framed the Canadian context within which Irish Catholic voluntary associations functioned as a liberalizing society with a strong attachment to Protestant British identity. In studies focusing on state formation, democracy, and liberalism, scholars such as Alan Greer and Ian Radforth, Jeffrey McNairn, and Darren Ferry have positioned mainstream voluntary associations as having had a central role in the development of liberalism and the formation of the Canadian state. This study sets out to examine the extent to which Irish Catholic voluntary associations had a similar function.
Sara Spike, “Modern Eyes: A Cultural History of Vision in Rural Nova Scotia, 1880-1910” (2016).
Supervisor: James Opp.
- Sara Spike Abstract
This dissertation explores a series of interconnected histories of vision and modernity in rural Nova Scotia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Approaching rural life and culture as a history of vision provides a new analytical lens for investigating the ways that rural people encountered, negotiated, and responded to the transformations being felt in both rural and urban places at the time. Informed by sensory history and visual culture studies, this unconventional perspective provides a coherent surface for cultural analysis across topics that are not traditionally discussed together, bringing to light and recuperating a variety of overlooked aspects of rural culture and knowledge. In their encounters with natural science, consumer culture, new technologies, and the Canadian state, rural Nova Scotians engaged in historically-specific practices of observation and articulated unique ideas about vision, which were frequently interlaced with ideas and anxieties about modernity. Chapters include analyses of nature-study and sensory training in rural elementary schools, practices of skilled vision at agricultural exhibitions, the professionalization of optometry in rural communities, the vision of sailors in relation to new maritime navigation infrastructure, and rural outreach from the Halifax School for the Blind. The result is a cultural history that places rural communities in Nova Scotia at the centre in of a conversation about modernity in Canada in the years bracketing the turn of the twentieth century.
Christine Whitehouse, “‘You’ll Get Used to It!’: The Internment of Jewish Refugees in Canada, 1940–43” (2016).
Supervisors: Jennifer Evans and Rhonda Hinther.
- Christine Whitehouse Abstract
After the fall of France in 1940, when German invasion of the British Isles seemed imminent, some 2000 Jewish refugees from Nazi oppression were detained by the British Home Office as dangerous “enemy aliens” and sent to Canada to be interned for the duration of the war. While the British government admitted its mistake in interning the refugees within months of their arrest, the Canadian government continued to keep them behind barbed wire for up to three years, reflecting its administration’s anti-semitic immigration policies more broadly. Instead of using their case as a signpost in Canada’s liberalizing immigration history, this dissertation situates their story in a longer narrative of class and ethnic discrimination to show the troubling foundations of modern democracy. As one tool in the nation state’s normalizing project, incarceration attempted to mould the Jewish men in the state’s eye. How the refugees pushed back in a joint claim of selfhood forms the material basis of this study. Through their relationship with the spaces of internment, work and leisure, sexual desire and gender performance, and by protesting governmental power, the refugees’ identities evolved and coalesced, demonstrating the fluidity of modern selfhood despite the limiting power of nationhood. The internees’ evolving sense of self played a large role in their experience and the development of their collective postwar narrative which trumpets their own success in Canada; while the state differentiated them from its own citizenry, the Jewish refugees pushed back in order to be seen as valuable contributors to the national body. Consequently, their collective memory of internment as a continuation of that project and, finally, as evidence of its fulfillment constitutes a critical part of internment history. By broadening the framework of Jewish internment during WWII, a pattern of differing and detaining under the mores of modern democracy emerges.