Theses (Interdisciplinary Graduate Program)

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    The Art and Science of the Electroacoustic Steelpan
    (2023-04-28) Malloy, Colin; Tzanetakis, George; McNally, Kirk
    Hailing from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, the steelpan is one of the most significant acoustic instruments invented in the 20th century. Despite en- joying international popularity and attention from acoustics researchers, the steelpan has not received as much attention as an electroacoustic instrument. This disserta- tion presents my work in the field of music technology as it relates to the steelpan. The contributions presented here can broadly be put into three categories: acous- tics, digital signal processing, and electroacoustic steelpan composition/performance. Relating to the acoustics of the steelpan, I present two research projects. First is a computation analysis that characterizes the timbral differences between mallets on the tenor steelpan. The other is a steelpan-specific audio dataset and pitch detection system that outperforms the available state-of-the-art methods. I then present two audio effects plugins I developed. Realstretch is a realtime time-stretcher—an audio effect that had previously never been implemented as a realtime effect. HarmonEQ is an audio equalizer that reframes how the equalizer’s controls in terms of musical notes and chords rather than abstract frequency. HarmonEQ’s change in control scheme allows it to be paired with a chord detection system so the equalizer can update its own settings based on the harmony of the incoming audio signal. Next I discuss approaches to using the steelpan as an electroacoustic instrument. The prac- tical considerations of electroacoustic performance are discussed through summary and analysis of three new solo compositions for electroacoustics steelpan that were premiered on March 26, 2022 as part my of Ph.D. recital. These various contributions combine to progress the art and science of the electroacoustic steelpan.
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    Ni'kma'jtut Mawita'nej -My People Let Us Gather Spirit in the Fringes: Reframing Through Relationality, Trans-conceptual Spaces, Creative Practice, and Intervention
    (2023-04-28) Rhude, Sarah; Hunt, Sarah Tłaliłila’ogwa; Stark, Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik
    Situated in my experience as an Indigenous educator, I have witnessed and experienced Indigenous people, knowledge, and relationships being systemically pushed to the fringes of Western education systems. Utilizing a specific circle framework which invites the reader into the role of witness, this thesis acts as a guide to understanding the Indigenous, art-based, research-creation (Loveless, 2019) methodologies and knowledges that were revealed to me over the period of four seasons. This research highlights how Indigenous, trans-conceptual (“The Bush Manifesto”, 2017) space in various emplaced locations of gathering and intervention, allows for the enactment of our natural agency (Maracle, 2021), where we are able to share our stories outside the grasp of the settler colonial systems we are in relationship with, but not of. In these spaces, we honour our laws, ways of knowing and being as Indigenous peoples who are away from our homelands, waters, and relatives. In these spaces, the sovereignty of host nations is affirmed. At the site of cross-cultural relationship, we bear witness to each other’s lives (Hunt & Holmes, 2015) and through the generation of shared knowledges, we are drawn closer to our own cultural locations. Creatively articulating and centering Indigenous freedom, hope and joy, and envisioning worlds outside the confines of colonialism and Western systems shifts perspective and allows for revisioning and reframing (Martineau 2014). Within these articulations, the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the systems they work within but are not of, are reframed and self-determined Indigenous spaces are recuperated from the fringes, “allowing them to dance in a new light” (Hunt, 2021). Through this reframing of relationality and vision sharing, a particular, situated intervention into systemic racism can be had. This work is done in relationship with and recognizing the authority of lək̓ʷəŋən law, ancestors, wind, peoples, land, plants, animals, and waters, as well as my responsibility to them.
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    Bridging Ethnobotany, Autecology and Restoration: The Study of Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia Willd.; Alismataceae) in Interior British Columbia
    (2023-03-02) Garibaldi, Ann Catherine; Turner, Nancy J.; Allen, Geraldine A.
    The goal of this research is to explore the cultural and ecological restoration of an aquatic perennial, wapato ( agittaria latifolia Willd.: Alismataceae) in the Salmon River Delta, Salmon Arm, British Columbia. Wapato has been extirpated from this area, a traditional Secwepemc (Shuswap) gathering site, within the past 80 years. This research explores some of the repercussions of this loss as well as methods for this plant's restoration. I conducted a series of interviews that provided information on landscape and ecological characteristics of this area from the 1920s when Secwepemc elder Mary Thomas was a child. The Salmon River Delta has experienced significant changes over the past century that have resulted in a decline of some native plant species and an increase in exotic ones, as evidenced by interviews and literature research. I also experimentally investigated the effects of animal herbivory and water depth on Sagittaria latifolia growth in the Salmon River Delta. My results show that herbivory significantly (P = 0.00) limited S. latifolia growth in this study; plants showed prolific growth when planted in a wire exclosure. Water depth had a smaller but still significant (P = 0.016) effect on S. latifolia growth for plants inside the exclosure. I surveyed wapato populations to assess the current distribution of S. latifolia in the region and a traditionally harvested congener, S. cuneata. I located 16 patches of S. latifolia and S. cuneate at 10 sites in the southern interior of British Columbia. I found no new populations of Sagittaria and failed to locate Sagittaria at four sites that have documented populations. Research objectives facilitated the development of a model of cultural refugia as a parallel concept to that of ecological refugia. Just as ecological refugia are havens from disturbance for various species and can serve to retain "resource populations to promote conservation and resource protection, I propose that cultural refugia can take on a similar role. These refugia can serve as centres for the maintenance and expansion of traditional ecological knowledge. Restoration, within a cultural context, can facilitate this expansion thereby augmenting the knowledge system associated with a cultural refugium.
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    "Know When to Hold 'em, Know When to Fold 'em": Navigating the more-than-dual roles of Indigenous leadership in post-secondary colonial institutions
    (2022-05-02) Young, Ruth; Stark, Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik; Allan, Billie
    This work examines the characteristics of Indigenous leaders and the situational contexts in which they work that enable them to effect institutional change in the Canadian public post-secondary education environment. Drawing on my own work and interviews with Indigenous leaders in mainstream insitutions, this research examines topics of culture, identity, teachings, maintaining balance, racism, challenges and opportunities, and success. Knowledge gathered through the interviews revealed themes, highlights and caveats that offer important considerations for Indigenous people who are contemplating taking on leadership positions in post-secondary institutions. Wise practices and ways forward are posited in two areas: 1) self-care and self-preservation – being well so that we can do well; and 2) considerations for non-Indigenous students, staff and faculty in supporting their Indigenous counterparts and in engaging in the important work of decolonizing and Indigenizing post-secondary institutions.
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    Collaborative learning via mobile language gaming and augmented reality: affordances and limitations of technologies
    (2022-04-05) Perry, Bernadette; Damian, Daniela; Caws, Catherine
    This research explores collaborative second language (L2) learning in gamified environments, and specifically examines affordances and limitations of mobile gamified language systems and augmented reality (AR) in supporting collaborative L2 learning. Therefore, this design-based research entailed the development and evaluation of two L2 AR gamified collaborative learning tools, Explorez and VdeUVic. At different locations on campus, players interact with characters that give them quests including clues or options to further the storyline. The gameplay interactions were designed to take place either in the form of written text or audio and video recordings, encouraging students to practice both oral and written language competencies. Three cohorts of FL2 university students playtested both gamified systems, and 58 students chose to participate in the study. The evaluation of the AR language tools was implemented by means of mixed-method case studies, collecting data of both a qualitative and quantitative nature, through pre- and post- play questionnaires, interviews, and video recordings of student gameplay interactions for analysis. This research examined the learners’ perceptions of their learning experience and in what ways students collaborated to complete the tasks. Additionally, the adaptation of Volet et al.’s (2009) collaborative learning framework permitted the examination of the learners content processing and social regulation during gameplay. The findings suggested the potential of AR gamified environments to facilitate high levels of interaction and collaboration. The analysis showed distinct patterns of collaborative learning across groups and sessions. Additionally, the findings identified patterns in the emergence of learners’ high-level co-regulation, as well as factors that assisted students in sustaining engagement of high-level co-regulation during gameplay.
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    Unframing and reframing shanshui
    (2022-01-07) Liu, Yang; Wright, Astri; King, Richard
    This dissertation explores the philosophical and aesthetic continuities and changes of the shanshui genre and the ongoing relevance of Chinese philosophy, in particular Daoism, within a subfield of modern and contemporary Chinese art. This dissertation has been created in dialogue with these traditions. Reflections on how this research has impacted my own art practise is intertwined with the historical and analytical discussion. This multi-threaded, multi-disciplinary dissertation has been written as a form of dialectical discourse which employs both analytical and personal writing. As such it combines elements of visual art-making as both artistic expression and research process; art historical research and analysis; and, ongoing self-reflections around both practices. In addition to the analysis of the art of a selection of contemporary Chinese artists, my art-based research led to the creation and discussion of a series of artworks, including the core painting series and exhibition titled, For a Moment, Silence in 2016. My research led me to the conclusion that shanshui is much more than a traditional visual form in Chinese art history for it offers a unique modality of thinking, perceiving and engaging. This, in turn, is based on a fundamental and dynamic perception of the interrelatedness of all things in the world, a perception which is embedded in a classical Chinese worldview. I demonstrate from various angles that by connecting the personal with the art historical, as well as with a philosophical and a pragmatic understanding of traditional Chinese philosophy, the experience of shanshui can be internalized through contemporary art practice as a method of reflective and experiential learning.
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    The Story Wheel: an ethnographic study of autistic adults exploring a story-drama curriculum
    (2021-12-23) Curry, Nancy J.; Dobson, Warwick; Prendergast, Monica
    The clinical diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder (APA, 2013) include difficulties with social communication and social cognition. Decades of autism research have been devoted to developing and implementing social skills training programs, some of which include drama as an instructional strategy. This dissertation project set out to contribute to that body of research, creating and testing a social skills program that used drama based on fictional stories to provide examples of social behaviour choices. The critical analysis of the research findings, using ethnographic methodology and the dual lenses of weak central coherence theory (Frith, 2003) and context-blindness theory (Vermeulen, 2012), extends the clinical, medical model of autism to create a por[trait of authentic, forthright individuals who are concerned with issues of social justice, who learn by making analogies to build context, whose conversation is associative and collaborative, and who stepped into the fictional worlds of the story-dramas and into the minds of the characters with empathy and commitment. The Story Wheel curriculum is built on Northrop Frye’s archetypal literary theory (Anatomy of Criticism, 1957) using the dramatic conventions approach of applied drama (Neelands & Goode, Structuring Drama Work, 2015) as a pedagogical strategy. Each of the four archetypes – romance, tragedy, irony, and comedy – are represented by three workshops based on Western literature, chosen to align with the culture and knowledge base of the participants, for a total of twelve drama workshops in the research project. This dissertation includes the curriculum outline, the literary choices, and recommendations for drama practitioners to create a successful and inclusive experience for their autistic participants.
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    The true transsexual and transnormativity: a critical discourse analysis of the wrong-body discourse
    (2021-12-21) Dominic, Kimi; Holmes, Cindy; Devor, Aaron H.
    How did the wrong-body discourse (WBD) become the dominant medicalised discourse in Canada and the United States? What ideological effects did this dominance have? To address these questions, I conducted a critical discourse analysis informed by Foucauldian genealogy. I analysed texts written in, or translated into, English for a medical-expert audience from the earliest mentions of wrong bodies in 1864 to the institutionalisation of the WBD in the DSM-III diagnosis of transsexualism in 1980. I argue that through the medicalisation of gender variance, the three tenets of the WBD—wrongness of the body; disjuncture between sex and gender; surgical and hormonal solution—developed individually and were brought together by medical experts into a coherent discourse in the mid-1960s. Two main factors likely contributed to the dominance of the WBD: the lack of dependence on any particular etiology that made the WBD compatible with a wide variety of explanations, and the very small number of medical experts responsible for the majority of publications on gender variance all using the WBD. I further argue that medical experts, faced with challenges to their treatment of gender-variant people, turned to the idea of true transsexualism to stabilise the newly-formed WBD and legitimate their treatment of gender variance. In addition to the three tenets of the WBD, true transsexualism also included characteristics and assumptions that medical experts expected gender-variant people to embody if they wanted access to treatment. Through these expectations, medical experts produced a set of norms against which all gender-variant people were judged as legitimate or not, namely, one of the first iterations of transnormativity.
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    Fair governance and Islamoexploria: the interaction of government administrators and the marginalized
    (2021-12-15) Khorramipour, Masoumeh; ; Schmidtke, Oliver; Zhou, Min
    This study addresses the concept of fair governance based on an empirical study with marginalized groups, primarily Muslims, and their interaction with government agencies as its salient locus of investigation. Employing the research method of in-depth interviewing, I present a qualitative analysis of 35 semi-structured interviews with Muslims and government administrators. The methodological framework based on which these interviews are interpreted is rooted in the tradition of social constructivism as manifested in the grounded theory perspective of Charmaz. My examination of the hitherto unspoken political visions of the study participants and their shared perspectives offers pragmatic solutions to create greater equity and fairer inclusion of the marginalized in civic and political dialogues and in the administrative practice of government. Remarkably, the cultural changes towards justice and inclusion in the Government of British Columbia manifest that fair government is committed to creating a fundamental transformation in favour of marginalized groups. I find the most promising approach for such transformation occurs where bottom up and dynamic approaches of civil society are aligned with top down approaches of government to justice. The findings suggest that fair governance enhances its functionality and capacity through reflecting universal universalism in its policies and practices, heartening public spirituality and moving towards a more humane modernity rather than the extant western model of modernity. Thus, fair governance calls for diversity in expression of religious identity and challenges the mistaken images of Muslim women. Subsequently, fair government welcomes female religious actors, who act upon religious values, to its administration and respects their choice of clothing encompassing the scarf. Fair government, at all levels, ameliorates the ethical standards of its employees and employs authentic leaders, who act in a virtuous manner, care about employees’ deeply held values, and implement direct communication with staff. Such government supports legislative and constitutional reforms to consider a different outlook of the marginalized on political and social concerns, respects religious practices, honours Muslims’ identity and interpretation of life, and supports individuals who aim to improve humanity in Canada and its occupational settings. Rethinking Islamophobia in the context of the distinct need of government administrators for the institutional education about Islam, as a key finding of the study, depicts the emergence of “Islamoexploria”, as a new expression, which I coin. In my study, there is ample evidence to suggest that a sample of government administrators in British Columbia is in the age of post Islamophobia since they, as pioneers, have passed the stage of Islamophobia and entered a new era of “Islamoexploria”. Thus, they have produced the profound socio-cultural changes towards understanding Islam by shifting from fear of, ostensibly, the unknown to knowledge about the unknown and to approaches that are more sympathetic to Muslims. This finding suggests that fair government facilitates the journey from western Islamophobia, a demonstration of old racism, to “Islamoexploria”, a contemporary thirst for knowledge about Islam. Concurrently, Muslims remain responsible to contribute to fairness at large by role modeling their religious values, which greatly promote justice, compassionate attitudes, and humanitarian actions.
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    The synthesizer programming problem: improving the usability of sound synthesizers
    (2021-12-15) Shier, Jordie; Tzanetakis, George; McNally, Kirk
    The sound synthesizer is an electronic musical instrument that has become commonplace in audio production for music, film, television and video games. Despite its widespread use, creating new sounds on a synthesizer - referred to as synthesizer programming - is a complex task that can impede the creative process. The primary aim of this thesis is to support the development of techniques to assist synthesizer users to more easily achieve their creative goals. One of the main focuses is the development and evaluation of algorithms for inverse synthesis, a technique that involves the prediction of synthesizer parameters to match a target sound. Deep learning and evolutionary programming techniques are compared on a baseline FM synthesis problem and a novel hybrid approach is presented that produces high quality results in less than half the computation time of a state-of-the-art genetic algorithm. Another focus is the development of intuitive user interfaces that encourage novice users to engage with synthesizers and learn the relationship between synthesizer parameters and the associated auditory result. To this end, a novel interface (Synth Explorer) is introduced that uses a visual representation of synthesizer sounds on a two-dimensional layout. An additional focus of this thesis is to support further research in automatic synthesizer programming. An open-source library (SpiegeLib) has been developed to support reproducibility, sharing, and evaluation of techniques for inverse synthesis. Additionally, a large-scale dataset of one billion sounds paired with synthesizer parameters (synth1B1) and a GPU-enabled modular synthesizer (torchsynth) are also introduced to support further exploration of the complex relationship between synthesizer parameters and auditory results.
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    Exploring the role of digital technologies for social connectedness, outcomes and experiences with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) community: A transformative mixed methods research study
    (2021-10-04) Antonio, Marcy; Lau, Francis; Sheilds, Laurene Elizabeth
    Prior to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were already experiencing social isolation due to the complex intersection of symptoms, and perceptions towards the illness. COPD is a chronic lung illness characterized by progressive shortness of breath, and decreasing lung function, with influenza and other respiratory illnesses more likely to have fatal consequences for this population. Societal beliefs and assumptions around behavioural risk factors, and in particular smoking, contribute to perceptions that COPD diagnosis, outcomes and experiences are self-inflicted and an individual responsibility. This is a perspective that fails to take into the account the complex contextual factors of the social determinants of health, where structural inequities result in higher smoking rates among populations with lower socioeconomic status. Further, these underlying societal values may compound the isolation experienced with COPD in which ongoing stigma towards the illness discourages people from identifying with a COPD diagnosis. The lack of identity may discourage developing a community where people can share experiences and strategies in living with COPD, and form a collective group that can advocate for change. Digital technologies (DTs), such as Facebook and Zoom offer new avenues to support social connectedness. However, little focus has been given on how people with COPD may (or may not) be using DTs to support their illness. This study explored the role DTs could serve in addressing social connectedness and experiences and outcomes for the COPD community. The study was informed by Mertens (2003, 2007) transformative approach where the knowledge of people living with COPD was prioritized in finding out what DTs they may be using to maintain social connectedness and to support their illness. The three stage mixed methods research design consisted of interviews, patient-reported outcome measures, patient-reported experience measures and a DT survey. Bazeley's (2018) approach was used to guide the integrative mixed analysis on data collected across the three stages. The overall findings were: 1) Participants’ experiences in living with COPD had uniquely prepared them for the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was the community that lacked capacity; 2) Dominant discourse around technology may be creating further harms to the COPD population that extend beyond the digital world; 3) Current digital health monitoring strategies for other chronic illnesses do not fully translate to the interests and needs for people living with COPD; 4) People living with COPD are using DTs, but prefer to keep their virtual world separate from their illness world; and 5) Considerations for DTs for COPD should move beyond managing outcomes, and include supporting experiences of living. Conducted between December 2018 and July 2020, and concurrent with the COVID-19 pandemic, the study demonstrated even greater importance with the onset of the pandemic in understanding how DTs may support social connectedness for people living with life-limiting chronic lung conditions.
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    Aged by Popular Culture
    (2021-09-13) Outcalt, Linda; Kerr, Mary; Chappell, Neena L.
    Aged by popular culture is a research project designed to investigate how our perceptions of age and aging are shaped by two specific aspects of North American culture – Western media and popular culture – which have advanced and reinforced ageism though their celebration of the ‘cult of youth‘ and negative depictions of aging and old age that form the foundation of the anti-aging industry. This combination of factors has pushed older adults out into the margins of society where they have largely become invisible, resulting in an ageism that has become normalized and largely internalized by the general population. Sixteen participants (5 between the ages of 20-35 years of age, and 11 between the ages of 65-80-years of age) contributed to this research in 2017-2018. Each participant created photographs or collage images based on specific interview questions that focused on media and popular culture’s depiction of aging and older age in contemporary society, which were then discussed during a recorded qualitative interview. Participant photos, images and audio clips are included in the dissertation which is in a website format that was specifically designed as a teaching tool to be used in K-12 schools, post-secondary institutions, and other organizations and senior’s centres. This website dissertation has the objective of promoting critical thinking that may generate a positive change in attitudes towards aging, build more positive intergenerational connections, and help to reduce the harmful effects of ageism in contemporary society. Seven theme topics were created based on an analysis of the participant images and interviews which can be accessed through ‘Themes’ on the Website Menu. I suggest using these themes as your navigation tools through the website. Each section contains a discussion and analysis of the topic, plus participant photos, text and audio clips. Links within pages provide access to detailed information on the various statistics, concepts and definitions connected to each theme topic. Additional information on Aged by popular culture and the research process is available through links on the ‘Research’ section of the ‘Website Menu.’ (See ‘Table of Contents’ for the complete list of website menu sections and topics.) The Literature Review and Copyright information are also included in a PDF format, as part of this submission. Please note: The dissertation (‘Aged by popular culture’) was created as a website. The current URL link is: .The website dissertation has also been archived as a URL and can be accessed through this link:
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    Social media reviews as a supplement to traditional quality survey in the Canadian context
    (2021-09-13) Talusan, Christopher; Marcellus, Lenora; Courtney, Karen L.
    Measurement for quality improvement in health care can be difficult. Measuring patientcentred care ensures both patient, health care professionals and health system perspectives are accounted for. Unfortunately, obtaining meaningful data is challenging as traditional surveys, while necessary for longitudinal comparison, often fail to capture the changing perspectives of patients. The use of natural language processing to mine free-text reviews can supplement data obtained from traditional quality surveys and identify new areas of concern that patients find important. This work used natural language processing of Google user reviews of hospitals in British Columbia to identify topics relevant to the Canadian Patient Experience Survey – Inpatient Care (CPES-IC) and topics that the CPES-IC did not contain. The results also compared the output from computer-coded topics to ones that were manually identified. Of the 23 topics in the CPES-IC, six in the computer-coded and manual analyses were not found. Seventeen topics not in the CPES-IC were found in the computer-coded analysis, whereas 23 topics were identified in the manual coding. Of the newly identified topics, 12 were shared between the manual and computer-coded analyses. The implications of utilizing computers to make data readily accessible can improve decision-makers' ability to access data.
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    Beasts in the Garden City: animals, humans, and settlement on Canada's west coast
    (2021-09-08) Cunningham, Tim; Colby, Jason M.; Lutz, John S.
    This thesis examines the numerous roles that nonhumans (and especially livestock) played in the creation, maintenance, and reproduction of settler space in the colonial city of Victoria, British Columbia, and details the gradual processes by which city space paradoxically became designated as such through the selective removal of animal life over the turn of the twentieth century. I use extensive archival material, newspaper coverage, and secondary analysis to explore the varied roles nonhumans played in the establishment of settler society, and investigate the ways that animals were paradoxically fundamental and antithetical to modernizing and industrializing settler space across nearly a century of urban history. In the earliest days of colonial settlement, when Victoria was established as a fur-trading post and depot for the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Columbia Department, animals played crucial dispossessive roles in forcibly reorganizing Indigenous territory and establishing settler space, and were indeed vital to the broader British colonizing project. As the city experienced dramatic demographic growth and tightening urban space across two gold rushes in the mid-nineteenth century, Victoria’s livestock faced increased scrutiny from legislators and citizens through the application of the common law category of “public nuisance.” Urban subsistence strategies such as pig-keeping and free-range grazing began to encroach on settler property and offend nascent middle-class ratepayers as the city grew in population and density, causing a selective process of removal, even as some livestock (such as milk-producing cattle) remained vital to many of the city’s households. Yet new understandings of disease transmission and sanitation sparked the gradual removal of domestic milch cows from Victoria’s backyards and lots, as medical scrutiny began to view the city’s dairy supply as a potential vector for the spread of the “White Plague,” bovine tuberculosis. The resulting consolidation of privately-owned and co-operative dairies would largely spell the end to urban livestock husbandry in the city, relocating nonhuman bodies out of sight and out of mind. Meanwhile, the extension of a cattle frontier into the mainland Interior Plateau continued a process of dispossession instigated on Lekwungen territories in Victoria, inflicting devastation on grassland ecologies and Indigenous livelihoods in the arid interior of British Columbia, while the injection of outside capital and advances in transportation, retail and supply chain infrastructure placed consumers at a greater and greater spatial and conceptual divide from the animals with whom they had formerly shared their urban spaces.
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    Opening up scholarship in the humanities: digital publishing, knowledge translation, and public engagement
    (2021-06-07) Arbuckle, Alyssa; Bengtson, Jonathan; Siemens, Raymond George
    Opening Up Scholarship in the Humanities: Digital Publishing, Knowledge Translation, and Public Engagement considers the concept of humanistic, open, social scholarship and argues for its value in the contemporary academy as both a set of socially oriented activities and an organizing framework for such activities. This endeavour spans the interrelated areas of knowledge creation, public engagement, and open access, and demonstrates the importance of considering this triad as critical for the pursuit of academic work moving forward—especially in the humanities. Under the umbrella of open social scholarship, I consider open access as a baseline for public engagement and argue for the vitalness of this sort of work. Moreover, I suggest that there is a strong connection between digital scholarship and social knowledge creation. I explore the knowledge translation lessons that other fields might have for the humanities and include a journalist–humanist case study to this end. I also argue for the value of producing research output in many different forms and formats. Finally, I propose that there are benefits to explicitly popularizing the humanities. In sum, this dissertation speculates on past, current, and future scholarly communication activities, and proposes that such activities might be opened up for wider engagement and, thus, social benefit.
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    Globalization's ruptures and responses: lessons from three BC communities
    (2020-09-02) Dunsmoor-Farley, Dyan; Shaw, Pam; Lawson, James Charles Barkley
    The global economy infuses every aspect of our day to day lives, from the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, to our political choices. And with its ability to “mutate, shudder and shatter” (Dicken et al), the unpredictable ruptures associated with the global economy elude our ability to grasp its impact and to govern its activities. So how, as citizens, do we imagine governing ourselves when ‘nobody appears to be in charge any longer’? How does our understanding of the state apparatuses– the legislation, regulations, policies –speak to people’s day to day experience in their communities? This research addresses two broad questions: how are communities responding to externally generated ruptures and how do they govern themselves in response? I propose that responding coherently to rupture events is inhibited by community members’ lack of awareness of the complex interrelationships of the constituent elements of the economy, and secondarily, a tendency to see the state as the primary site of governance. Through interviews, surveys, and documentary research, this interdisciplinary study (political science, human geography, sociology and history) examines how three British Columbia communities – Tumbler Ridge, Tofino and Gabriola Island – were affected by recessionary ruptures and how they responded. Each of these communities exists within Indigenous spaces. Understanding how communities perceived their relationships with their Indigenous neighbours grounds the stories within the historical impacts of colonization, although it is not part of this thesis to investigate both sides of the ‘settler’-Indigenous relationship in these communities. By telling the story of each community’s response to rupture over time and comparing their trajectories, I draw conclusions comparing each community’s response and the outcomes. I pursue four areas of investigation: the degree to which communities understood their relationship with what I call the “capital economy” and others refer to as the market or capitalist economy, and how that understanding affected their response to rupture; how attitudes toward place shaped community responses to rupture; how community perceptions about their local economies affected the decisions they made and the strategies they employed to address economic and social challenges; and how the deployment of governance at various scales impacted the socio-economic health of the communities. The communities embraced a range of strategies from individual autonomous action, to networked autonomous action, to the creation of place-based governance entities as sites for action. Their effectiveness was determined by three factors. First of these is the degree to which communities saw the state as the locus of political action and the market economy as the primary agent for achieving community health and wellbeing had consequences for life control, self-determination and self-governance. Second is the extent to which the community was willing to work outside of the normative governance structures (normative in the sense that the state and corporate decision-making are commonly accepted as the primary and proper sources of governance and problem-solving) affected their ability to consider and create adaptive strategies that could respond to the unpredictable mutations of global capital. Finally, the failure in some communities to understand the ongoing impacts of colonization hampered their ability to create meaningful and ultimately productive relationships with their Indigenous neighbours, relationships that may have opened up valuable avenues to the wellbeing of all parties. I conclude that effective governance strategies capable of seeing communities through unpredictable ruptures will require five capacities: building on deeply situated knowledge; developing relationships across interests and social strata; employing ‘loose’ structure strategies; adopting approaches based on incremental persistence; and learning from Indigenous self-governance aspirations. Developing these local capacities will lay the foundation for a broader scope of political action.
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    The impact of Congenital Long QT Syndrome on First Nations children and youth in Northern British Columbia
    (2020-08-23) Bene Watts, Simona; Arbour, Laura; Rodriguez de France, Maria del Carmen
    Background: Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a cardiac condition which predisposes individuals to syncope, seizures, and sudden cardiac death. There is a high prevalence of congenital LQTS in a First Nations community in Northern British Columbia due to the founder variant p.V205M in the KCNQ1 gene. Additionally, two other variants of interest are present in this population: the KCNQ1 p.L353L variant, previously noted to modify the phenotype of LQTS in adults, and the CPT1A p.P479L variant, a metabolic variant common in Northern Indigenous populations associated with hypoglycemia and sudden unexpected infant death. Methods: We performed a mixed methods study to better understand the impact of LQTS in children and youth in this First Nations community. To learn about the clinical impact of LQTS, and better understand the effects of the KCNQ1 and CPT1A variants in children, we used statistical analysis to compare the cardiac phenotypes of 211 First Nations children with and without the p.V205M, p.L353L and p.P479L variants, alone and in combination. Ordinary Least Squares linear regression was used to compare the highest peak corrected QT interval (QTc). The peak QTc is an electrocardiogram measurement used in risk stratification of LQTS patients. Logistic regression was used to compare the rates of syncope and seizures experienced in childhood. Additionally, to learn about the lived-experience of LQTS, we interviewed one young First Nations adult about her experiences growing up with LQTS as a teenager. From this interview, we conducted a qualitative case study analysis using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. All research was done in partnership with the First Nations community using community-based participatory methods. Results: We found that the p.V205M variant conferred a 22.4ms increase in peak QTc (p<0.001). No other variants or variant interaction effects were observed to have a significant impact on peak QTc. No association between the p.V205M variant and loss of consciousness (LOC) events (syncope and seizures) was observed (OR(95%CI)=1.3(0.6-2.8); p=0.531). However, children homozygous for p.P479L were found to experience 3.3 times more LOC events compared to non-carriers (OR=3.3(1.3-8.3); p=0.011). With regard to the qualitative portion of the thesis, four superordinate (main) themes emerged from the case study: Daily life with Long QT Syndrome, Interactions with Medical Professionals, Finding Reassurance, and The In-Between Age. We found that even though our participant was asymptomatic and felt that she was not impacted by LQTS in her daily life, she considered certain elements of the condition to be stressful, such as taking a daily beta-blocker. Conclusion: These results suggest that while the KCNQ1 p.V205M variant is observed to significantly prolong the peak QTc, the CPT1A p.P479L variant is more strongly associated with LOC events in children from this community. More research is needed to further determine the effect of these variants; however, our preliminary findings suggest management strategies, such as whether beta-blockers are indicated for p.V205M carriers, may need to be reassessed. The importance of developing a holistic, well-balanced approach to medical care, taking into consideration the personal perspectives and unique medical circumstances of each child is exemplified in this study.
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    Living<=>Dying with metastatic breast cancer: women's accounts of living longer in smaller communities
    (2020-06-05) Shermak, S. Lee; Moss, Pamela; Stajduhar, Kelli I.
    As a life-limiting illness mediated by rapid advancements in biomedical technologies, metastatic breast cancer (MBC) now presents in increasingly unexpected ways where women are living longer. These women’s lives may not fit well with established healthcare and societal understandings of an advanced breast cancer, including disease progression and prognosis. This qualitative inquiry aims to think differently about women’s daily lives with an ongoing MBC. While also considering the underexplored context of these women living in smaller communities. I explored communities on Central Vancouver Island, which is on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. The research question directing my inquiry was: how are women, who are living with MBC as a life-limiting illness over an extended period, produced as both living and dying subjects? Informing this research was a feminist relational materialist approach with a healthcare practitioner orientation, primarily informed by Braidotti. I used multiple data collection methods centred around sequential interviews with 14 women who had been living relatively well with MBC for at least two years. Working with relational materialist and post qualitative principles, analysis disclosed the importance of temporal pulses and bodily transpositions in women’s lives. Temporal pulses speak to how time was laden with tensions such that a distinctive part of living with ongoing MBC was an embodied sense of fluctuating time. There was also the idea as to how, at any given moment, women could bodily know their illness and mortality through varying frequencies of the presence and/or absence of markers of living and dying, often at the same time. Bodily transpositions speak to how life-limiting illness was not so much about women moving from one set of circumstances to another as part of a clean-edged transition. Rather, the women navigated daily life with few set waymarkers. Within this context, ‘hope’ took on new forms and living with their advanced breast cancer became a kind of endurance demarcated by what I refer to as generative living. These findings call into question the ways in which MBC gets talked about in categorical terms as palliative or end of life, and/or as chronic. Findings are an opportunity for healthcare practitioners, policymakers, and interdisciplinary leaders to further understand MBC specific to our contemporary context. Project findings renew discussions of how best to support women’s needs, including the ways MBC is talked about. There is also the opportunity to direct further research into MBC as an example of today’s shifting boundaries of living and dying (which I am framing as living<=>dying).
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    One step at a time: analysis of neural responses during multi-state tasks
    (2020-04-28) Grey, Talora Bryn; Krigolson, Olave E.; Fyshe, Alona
    Substantial research has been done on the electroencephalogram (EEG) neural signals generated by feedback within a simple choice task, and there is much evidence for the existence of a reward prediction error signal generated in the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain when the outcome of this type of choice does not match expectations. However, less research has been done to date on the neural responses to intermediate outcomes in a multi-step choice task. Here, I investigated the neural signals generated by a complex, non-deterministic task that involved multiple choices before final win/loss feedback in order to see if the observed signals correspond to predictions made by reinforcement learning theory. In Experiment One, I conducted an EEG experiment to record neural signals while participants performed a computerized task designed to elicit the reward positivity, an event-related brain potential (ERP) component thought to be a biological reward prediction error signal. EEG results revealed a difference in amplitude of the reward positivity ERP component between experimental conditions comparing unexpected to expected feedback, as well as an interaction between valence and expectancy of the feedback. Additionally, results of an ERP analysis of the amplitude of the P300 component also showed an interaction between valence and expectancy. In Experiment Two, I used machine learning to classify epoched EEG data from Experiment One into experimental conditions to determine if individual states within the task could be differentiated based solely on the EEG data. My results showed that individual states could be differentiated with above-chance accuracy. I conclude by discussing how these results fit with the predictions made by reinforcement learning theory about the type of task investigated herein, and implications of those findings on our understanding of learning and decision-making in humans.
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    “Playing the hand you’re dealt”: an analysis of Musg̱a̱makw Dzawada̱'enux̱w traditional governance and its resurgence
    (2020-02-06) Nicolson, Gwi'molas Ryan Silas Douglas; Borrows, John
    The Musg̱a̱makw Dzawada̱’enux̱w have lived since time immemorial in what is now known as central British Columbia. This thesis identifies who the Musg̱a̱makw Dzawada̱’enux̱w are, their form of self-government and their political organization before a “Band and Council” system was imposed by the government of Canada. This thesis also presents how literacy was appropriated by the Musg̱a̱makw Dzawada̱’enux̱w and the broader community of the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw in the late 19th Century through to the 20th Century to document and sustain their own form of governance and political organization. It describes how the traditional governance was deeply engaged in processes which upheld deep connectivity between community and the land. In conclusion it argues that a return to traditional self-government would strengthen and be beneficial to current Musg̱a̱makw Dzawada̱’enux̱w and Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw people by addressing some of the current issues faced by communities struggling to maintain their ways of life while facing pressure to assimilate to colonial structures. The thesis in a similar fashion uses the process of writing to document and record our traditional governance as a way to sustain it. As traditional oral transmission has broken down due to oppressive colonial practices it seeks to use colonial writing systems such as an academic thesis as a form of communication even though it is within the imposed system. Therefore, the thesis is written as a hybrid between a written and oral delivery of information which is intended for both an academic but more importantly, Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw audience.