Completed Programs 2011-2012
Completed Dissertations, Theses and Major Research Papers
Kristi Allain PhD
The Way We Play: An Examination of Men's Elite-Level Hockey, Masculinity and Canadian National Identity
In this dissertation, I argue that the popular representations of Canada as a nation that plays hockey, speaks to very particular ways that power is mobilized within constructions of Canadian national identity. This construction privileges particular understandings of gender and difference. Specifically, when hockey-playing men are placed at the centre of national identity construction, women and others who cannot or do not contribute to a sense of national identity in these same ways are positioned as peripheral to national myth making. In this work, I use three different but inter-related sets of data: in depth, semi-structured interviews with current and former elite-level hockey players; an analysis of Canadian newspaper coverage of Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin during the 2009 NHL playoffs; and, an analysis of three seasons of CBC’s Coach’s Corner starring Don Cherry. I found that elite-level hockey players whom I interviewed an the media tend to understand appropriate Canadian-style hockey masculinity as focused on a rough, tough game, played by players who are well-mannered, articulate and who don’t play ‘dirty’. This style of play is frequently contrasted against other expressions of hockey masculinity, which are problematically understood as less masculine.
Carling Beninger MA
The Anglican Church of Canada: Indigenous Policies, 1946-2011
Prior to 1969 the Anglican Church of Canada’s Indigenous policy was assimilation governed by paternalistic attitudes. The Anglican Church commissioned sociologist Charles E. Hendry in 1967 to examine its relationship with Indigenous people. In 1969, Hendry published his findings in Beyond Traplines: Does the Church Really Care? Towards an Assessment of the Work of the Anglican Church of Canada and Canada’s Native Peoples. The Hendry Report, as it came to be known, called for a radical change in the Anglican Church’s Indigenous policies. From then onwards the Anglican Church, having to accept its harmful role in its assimilative practices, sought to implement Hendry’s recommendations to create a relationship based on equality. This thesis examines how the Anglican Church came to reform its policies and its struggle to implement change. This can be seen in four distinct policy phases that coincide with specific time periods: 1) end of assimilative policies (1946-1969), 2) Aboriginal Rights support (1970-1989), 3) acceptance of the residential school legacy (1990-1999), and 4) response to litigation and the development of the 2007 Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement. I conclude by arguing that the Anglican Church, in 2011, is in a new phase in which the Anglican Church and Indigenous people are walking together to reconcile and heal.
Andrew Cragg MA
Neoliberalising Immigration in Canada: The Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training and the Expansion of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program
There has been a significant expansion in Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) over the past ten years. The Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training (PPORLLFT), a sub program of the TFWP, has been leading this expansion. Drawing upon testimony given to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, this thesis examines the development and expansion of the program, since its inception in 2002, and shows that it is connected to the ongoing process of neoliberalisation in Canada. One significant example of this connection is the program’s support for increases in two-step immigration streams that involve employer sponsorship for successful transition to permanent residency; this increase represents a privatisation of citizenship decisions. More than this, the neoliberal aspects of the PPORLLFT have increased inequality and the ability of employers to have a more disciplined workforce. This has decreased the ability of working people to have influence in their workplace and over economic policy more generally.
Agata Durkalec MA
Understanding the role of environment for Indigenous health: A case study of sea ice as a place of health and risk in the Inuit community of Nain, Nunatsiavut
Jessica Ellison MA
Negotiating the Complexities of Place: Peggy's Cove, Tourism and SwissAir 111
When Swissair Flight 111 crashed near the coast of Peggy’s Cove on September 2, 1998, it penetrated the imaginary idyllic landscape of a tourist destination. In this thesis, I discuss the relationship and tensions between Peggy’s Cove and the Swissair 111 memorial by engaging the concepts of the picturesque and the sublime, two overarching narratives that contribute to the touristic phantasm of Peggy’s Cove, and which were later used to frame the Swissair tragedy. I draw on the concept of dark tourism to discuss how the Swissair memorial has been integrated into the tourist landscape of Peggy’s Cove. The Cove and its intricate relationship with the memorial site offers a more nuanced reflection on the concept of dark tourism itself and highlights the complexities of place as they are constructed and commodified for tourist consumption.
Elizabeth Evans MA
The Green Energy and Green Economy Act: Barriers and Opportunities for Renewable Energy Co-Operatives in Ontario
In March 2008 Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act was passed into law, and introduced North America’s first Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program. Producers of renewable energy are offered a fixed rate for electricity generated and delivered to the power grid, and specific incentives exist for community-based projects.The co-operative model is a form of community-based ownership that has been popularized by wind turbine co-ops in Europe. It was hoped that Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act would facilitate a similar interest in renewable energy, and that renewable energy co-operatives would become a viable option in Ontario’s electricity sector. I conducted a series of twelve interviews with leading experts in the renewable energy field. Specifically, these individuals specialize to renewable energy co-operatives and policy. It was inductively determined that a number of barriers exist for renewable energy co-operatives, despite the potential of the FIT program. These barriers can be categorized as: financial, regulatory, market, cultural, and technical in nature. It was determined that there are a number of policy changes that could be implemented to improve the framework for renewable energy co-operatives in Ontario. The three key policy recommendations that can be drawn from my research are: (1) Develop creative ways for co-operatives to accrue debt and acquire equity, (2) Improve information and access to resources, to build capacity for the development of new renewable energy co-operatives, and (3) Create rate structures that are advantageous to co-operatives, and minimize competition with private developers.
Danielle Jeancart MA
Imposed Identities: The Colonial Construction of Indigenous Masculinity
This thesis examines how images of Métis and First Nations men have been constructed and circulated by media discourse in Canada. I begin by examining the social, political and economic structures of the French Métis and show how their lifestyle as middlemen was greatly altered by governmental policies. I then explore the inception of stereotypical images of First Nations and Métis men. Beginning with Paul Kane, I argue that these image makers failed to accurately distinguish between differing Indigenous groups and began a tradition wherein inaccurate depictions of Indigenous men were the norm. Next, I engage such depictions in early North American pop culture and argue that, in this medium, these images carried an ideological perspective rooted in a colonial bias regarding what constituted civilized and savage. Finally, I examine my grandfather’s unpublished novel as a case study in how formative these stereotypes can be and introduce the notion of Shame Discourse to articulate how the pressures of Indigenous masculinity force some Indigenous men into a state of cultural compromise. Throughout, I use the term Indigenous masculinity as a way to articulate this cluster of stereotypes and acknowledge the common experiences of disparate Indigenous groups.
Judith Mason MA
The Mill at Clarington: Curating Place in the Environmental Work of Four Artists
Landscape is a culturally mediated notion. Traditional European landscape painting has been the dominant medium for the representation of the attitude of human beings to their natural environment for the past four hundred or so years. Contemporary art historians and cultural theorist have critiqued the pictorial landscape not least as a contribution to the apparatus of class and colonial appropriations of the land, and exposing its inadequacy to address the multilayered and multifaceted interactions humans have with the environment as aesthetic representation. I will discuss the works of four contemporary Ontario artists who contribute to the advancement of a movement of art often called land art.
The works of Sally Thurlow, Rowena Dykins, Sean McQuay and Tony Cooper articulate an aesthetics and ethics of environmental concern through a diversity of materials and mix of medias: Thurlow as a sculptor and installation artist, Dykins as an abstract painter, McQuay as painter and performance artist, Tony Cooper as field painter and sculptor. Their works take up, deconstruct and refigure the pictorialism of traditional European landscape art and present it in a new key that merges with the milieu and sinks into the locale. At the centre of this family of landscape practices is an artist-centred art institution called the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington that was formally a mill. Margaret Rodgers’ curatorial practice at the Visual Arts Centre is its own work. In addressing their works, the thesis will unfold in two parts. First I will define my working terms; space, place, landscape, site and locale in order to advance the theory that the four artists developed a practice that required a new art form - an amalgamation of elements from landscape painting,sculpture and abstract art. In the second part I examine the Cream of Barley Mill and the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington as a keeping place, arguing that Rodger’s curatorial practice of place initiated and supported the alternative environmental practices of the four artists. The works of the four artists are engaged through case studies informed by psychoanalysis,feminism, and cultural theory.
Judith Mintz MA
Helpers and Demons: Binary Represenations of Early 20th Century Midwives, Doctors and Childbirth in Ami McKay's The Birth House
This thesis examines the representation of the medicalization and professionalization of childbirth in Canada through historical fiction and life writing. A cross-national historical analysis of childbirth practices at the turn of the twentieth century is used as evidence. This study is augmented with a localized exploration into a core text by Ami Mckay entitled, The Birth House (2006). In Chapter One, the theoretical framework is introduced. Chapter Two offers a literature review of birthing practices in Canada of a century ago, while Chapter three delves into literary theory around historical fiction and utilizes another Canadian work of fiction, The Biggest Modern Woman of the World, by Susan Swan (1983) as a contrasting text with The Birth House. Chapter Four examines life writing in both theory and critical practice, and draws historical life writing under the microscope to scrutinize Canadian women’s writing about birthing and early mothering in the early twentieth century. Historical fiction writing and life writing can be instructive to general readers about women’s experiences and relationships in the last century and these narratives impact current medical and obstetric discourse in the realm of women’s health care. Readers who are neither mothers nor women may find a deepened understanding of women’s writing of the self and of childbirth experience.
Diane Therrien MA-MRP
"'This land is their land': Newcomer Perceptions of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada
Rosalyn Yake MA-MRP
The Phantom Public: The CBC's Coverage of Aboriginal Band Elections
Civic journalism surfaced in the 1990s in response to declining levels of public involvement in American politics and civil life. The movement inspired various initiatives that aimed to improve the ability of journalism to engage the public in community affairs. A small body of literature has emerged that explores the power of civic journalism to combat corruption by fostering accountable governments and an engaged citizenry. This paper explores this idea in a Canadian context. It argues that Canada’s public broadcaster, the CBC, could employ civic journalism to prevent corruption in Aboriginal communities. After analyzing the CBC’s coverage o f band council elections, this paper puts forth five recommendations that illustrate how civic journalism could enhance the CBC’s ability to prevent electoral corruption. The recommendations are premised on the finding that the CBC is doing little to include the public in its coverage, or to foster public deliberation.