Theses (Writing)

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    A promise kept: the mystical reach through loss
    (2019-10-04) Collins, Jody; Van Luven, Lynne; Bramadat, Paul
    The meaning of loss is love. I know this through attention to experience. Whether loss or love is experienced in abundance or in absence, the meaning is mystical with an opening of body, mind, heart and soul to spirit. And so, in the style of a memoir, in the way of contemplative prayer, I contemplate and share my soul as a promise kept in the mystical reach through loss. With the first, initiating loss, the loss of my nine-year-old nephew, Caleb, I experience an epiphany that gives me spiritual instructions that will not be ignored. I experience loss as an abundance of meaning that comes to me as gnosis, as “knowledge of the heart” according to Elaine Pagels or divine revelation in what Evelyn Underhill calls mystical illumination in the experience of “losing-to-find” in union with the divine. Then, with gnostic import, in leaving the ordinary for the extraordinary, I enter the empty room in the painful yet liberating experience of the loss of my self. In the embrace of emptiness, I proceed to the first wall, the second wall, the third wall, the dark corner of denial, the return to centre, and, finally, to breaking the fourth wall in the empty room so as to keep my promise to you. Who are “you”? You are God. You are Caleb. You are spirit. You are my higher soul or self. And, you are the reader. You are my dear companion in silence. And then, through a series of broken promises and more loss, within what John of the Cross calls, “the dark night of the soul,” I am stopped by the ineffability of the dark corner of denial, the horror of separation and the absence of meaning, which is depicted as the grueling gap between the spiritual abyss and the breakthrough. What does it mean to keep going through a solemn succession of losses? I don’t know. In going into the empty room, I simply put pain to work in order to reach you. Through loss, though there are infinite manifestations, there is only one way: keep going. And so, in a triumph of the spirit, I keep going so as to be: a promise kept in the mystical reach through loss. As for you, through my illumined and dark experiences of loss, what is my promise to you? I keep going to reach the unreachable you. In the loss of self, with embodied emptiness, in going into the dark corner of denial, with a return to the divine centre of my emptied self, in an invitation to you, I give my soul to you in union with you.
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    The importance of counter-culture in art and life
    (2015-02-03) Ortlieb, Paulina Elizabeth; Bradley, Maureen; McLarty, Lianne
    Punk rock provided not only a watershed of creativity, innovation and a do-it-yourself spirit to a culture saturated in the mainstream, it physically brought like-minded people together in a community, or rather extended family, which in today’s hyper-d.i.y. culture, is progressively declining. As early as the 1940s, theorists such as Adorno and Horkheimer warned us about alienation in a society increasingly dependent on technology. By looking to punk, and other resilient and robust counter-cultures, perhaps we can find solutions to the pitfalls of the ‘culture industry’ (Adorno, Horkheimer, 1944). My thesis, consisting of a feature-length documentary film and textual analysis, is a culmination of: ethnographic research into the punk scene in my own community; theoretical research into the sociology, ethnography and subculture theory; and my own subjectivity. My personal findings are presented to offer insight into punk philosophy and to spur discourse, rather than deliver an objective account or didactic reproach.
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    Salmon: A Scientific Memoir
    (2013-08-28) Isabella, Jude; Nowell, April; Leach, David
    The reason for this story was to investigate a narrative that is important to the identity of North America’s Pacific Northwest Coast – a narrative that revolves around wild salmon, a narrative that always seemed too simple to me, a narrative that gives salmon a mythical status, and yet what does the average person know about this fish other than it floods grocery stores in fall and tastes good. How do we know this fish that supposedly defines the natural world of this place? I began my research as a science writer, inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Log from the Sea of Cortez, in which he writes that the best way to achieve reality is by combining narrative with scientific data. So I went looking for a different story from the one most people read about in popular media, a story that’s overwhelmingly about conflict: I searched for a narrative that combines the science of what we know about salmon and a story of the scientists who study the fish, either directly or indirectly. I tried to follow Steinbeck’s example and include the narrative journeys we take in understanding the world around us, the journeys that rarely make it into scientific journals. I went on about eight field trips with biology, ecology, and archaeology lab teams from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans onboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ship the W.E. Ricker, and an archaeological crew from the Laich-Kwil-Tach Treaty Society in Campbell River, B.C. At the same time, I was reading a number of things, including a 1938 dissertation by anthropologist Homer Barnett from the University of Oregon titled The Nature and Function of the Potlatch, a 2011 book by economist Ronald Trosper at the University of Arizona, Resilience, Reciprocity and Ecological Economics, and works by psychologist Douglas Medin at Northwestern University and anthropologist Scott Atran at the University of Michigan, written over the past two decades, particular paying attention to their writings on taxonomy and folkbiology. My conclusions surprised me, a little.
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    All the Resistance That's Fit to Print: Canadian Women Print Journalists Narrate Their Careers
    (2013-04-24) Smith, Vivian; Van Luven, Marlene A. D. Lynne; Clover, Darlene E.
    Canadian women print journalists both protest against and acquiesce to the patriarchal culture of newspapering in their daily work. Utilizing narrative analysis and the feminist theory of intersectionality, this dissertation argues that other social characteristics interact with gender as practitioners negotiate the multiple hegemonies of their workplace, and that the impacts of these characteristics change over time. The purpose of the qualitative study was to do fieldwork needed to respond to scholarly uncertainty about journalists’ individual motivations on the job and their perceived impact on the socio-political agenda. Individual interviews and focus groups were conducted over 2010-2011. Participants included 26 Canadian women print journalists in five newspapers across Canada, as well as one former journalist, now an academic. Key generational differences appeared when participants’ stories were examined with age and gender intersecting as an organizing theme. Senior participants tended to see themselves as lucky survivors in frustratingly gendered newsrooms; those in mid-career were self-sacrificing, hard workers who needed, but were not getting, workplace flexibility; and the most junior ones presented themselves as individual strategists, capable of handling whatever routine injustices were thrown at them. They wanted to stay in the business long enough to “choose” between careers and parenthood, with technological proficiency as a lifeline. Participants’ narratives revealed how the most senior tended to combine their multiple identities and externalities into a coherent whole, while younger participants experimented with and exploited aspects of their complex identities and larger societal influences to survive in a high-stress, gendered environment. This study produces evidence that the participants’ career paths are influenced in fluid and often hidden ways by other characteristics as they intersect with gender. Assumptions about these characteristics, such as age, race, parenthood status and class, further complicate the shaping of participants’ experiences in their workplaces, offering them other possible positions from which to either reinforce or resist the newsroom culture. The participants take up navigating these confused seas in ways that often leave them frustrated and angry, but ultimately most say they feel they make a difference in the socio-political agenda because of their complex identities and as voices for those deemed “voiceless.”
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    When is a man where he drowns: part one of a three-part novel
    (2011-07-18) Shepard, Aaron; Gaston, Bill
    “When is a Man Where He Drowns” is a creative project that forms part of a novel in progress. In the novel, Paul Rasmussen, 31, an anthropology instructor and ethnographer, is recovering from a career setback and early prostate cancer. He takes a job as a fisheries technician in the remote Immitoin Valley, meeting a series of characters who both facilitate and complicate his convalescence. At the conclusion of “Part One: Archaeology,” he begins an ethnographical study of the people who were displaced and relocated when the valley was flooded to create the McCulloch Dam in 1970. The Immitoin Valley is a fictional location, a composite of various communities and geographical features along B.C.‟s Arrow Lakes, the Peace River valley, and other places that have experienced socio-geographical change due to hydroelectric dam activity. When is a Man Where He Drowns, in its entirety, is concerned with themes of exile, displacement and masculinity, using the body and landscape as parallel metaphors. My thesis, which consists of “Part One: Archaeology,” is a standard narrative told in third person. It attempts to establish the protagonist‟s relationship with his body, and sets the stage for the remainder of the novel which will play with different forms of storytelling, including ethnographic field notes, journal entries and transcribed interviews.
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    The motive of machines
    (2011-07-18) Martens, Garth; Crozier, Lorna
    This collection of poems examines the inner and outer landscapes of construction sites, and the psychic and physical damage sustained both by men and the land during periods of economic surge. The colloquial speech of construction workers is combined with the density of expression, muscular diction, and musical phrasing expected of poetry.
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    Something like wilderness: a journey into the heart of the tundra
    (2011-07-18) Kingsley, Jennifer; Leach, David
    Something Like Wilderness: A Journey into the Heart of the Tundra is a work of creative non-fiction that chronicles Jennifer Kingsley’s 54-day canoe expedition down Nunavut’s Back River in the summer of 2005. This manuscript explores the themes of wilderness and belonging, and it investigates the notion of intersecting journeys. Something Like Wilderness seeks to engage readers with a compelling story while articulating some of the ideas we have about wild places.
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    Deepwater vee
    (2011-06-03) Siebert, Melanie; Lilburn, Tim
    Deepwater Vee began as a meditation on the rivers I have worked on as a wilderness guide—the Nahanni, the Thelon, the Burnside, the Tatshenshini / Alsek, and others. The lyric poems take wobbly bearings and try to track the phenomenal world. This collection of nature poetry also considers two of Canada’s most threatened waterways—the Athabasca, which runs through the heart of the Alberta tar sands, and the North Saskatchewan, the river that ran by my home but which I had never paddled until recently, a river stressed by dams and upgraders, sewage and pesticides. These rivers push the poems into a contemplation of loss and into the terrain of Alexander MacKenzie’s dreams, a busker’s street riffs and the imagined wanderings of a grandmother who returns to inhabit the earth.
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    The quiet
    (2011-05-31) Bennett, Anne-Marie; Crozier, Lorna
    This collection of poems concerns contemplative silence, uncertainty, and the relationship between reverence, and constructions of littleness and absence.
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    (2010-02-22T23:06:17Z) Krukoff, Devin; Gaston, Bill
    This thesis is a long work of fiction, straddling the line between a cycle of short stories and a novel. The work is comprised of 35 chronological sections, with a new main character in each section. The dominant narrative of the book is a twenty-four hour period in which the individual narratives of characters gradually overlap and inform one another. Each section in the book is preceded by a meditation on a species of native bird that thematically relates to the character to follow. In sum. the project attempts to unite a number of disparate perspectives into a cohesive whole.
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    Slope: poems
    (2010-02-19T22:40:42Z) Shields, Sara; Crozier, Lorna
    A collection of lyrical, free verse poems that trace the evolution of a young woman's consciousness as she matures into the roles of spouse. mother and grown daughter. The natural -slope"" from order to disorder runs through the poems as secrets take shape, children are injured, a marriage falters, and a mother dies. Even sleep, a recurring theme, loses its innocence: first appreciated for the rest it offers, it is soon disparaged as "grease for the gears of loss. rehearsal for complete darkness."
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    Hand of Jane
    (2008-12-19T17:29:12Z) Pickett, Karen Lee; MacLeod, Joan
    An original full-length theatrical play in three parts, Hand of Jane deals with themes of faith, family and responsibility to the past, and examines human spiritual evolution through the story of a father and daughter, and Jane, a mystical guide loosely based on Jane Goodall.
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    Vireo's night
    (2008-08-14T17:49:19Z) Acker, Lori Maleea; Crozier, Lorna
    Original poems in English and Spanish.