Upcoming GLS MA Defences, Summer 2017

June 23, 2017

Byron Flekke - Extended Essays:"Life and Death in The Orenda" and "Here We Shall Remain"

Thursday, June 29 - 2:30 pm - Room 2245


Aboriginal relations are explored in one essay and one play. Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda contains graphic depictions of violence which proved divisive for readers and critics alike. However, these depictions are both accurate and significant to not just the contents of the novel but to violence in the world. Ernest Becker’s ideas on death anxiety and culture are used to explain the violence as ritual, allowing readers to understand the nature of violence between cultures and to take away positive messages from Boyden’s novel. In a play about Tecumseh, taking place during the War of 1812, issues aboriginals struggle with today are reminiscent of issues aboriginals experienced over 200 years ago. The question remains: how far have we come in over two centuries of shared history? Moving forward, aboriginals and non-aboriginals must learn to live together otherwise the consequences can be destructive and potentially fatal to individuals and entire cultures.

Elizabeth Kidd - MA Project: "Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of Journey through France and Italy, 1786-1787"

Monday, July 17 - 1:00 pm - Room 3100


This paper is an historical fiction-- a travel journal written by Lady Aphrodite Macbain, an aristocratic English woman who records her observations and thoughts during her European tour in 1786-1787. Two voices tell this tale: Lady Macbain and a twenty-first century editor, Elizabeth Macbain. The latter introduces the "found" journal, provides a biography of Lady Macbain, inserts historical background information on the eighteenth century and the cities visited, and provides explanatory footnotes to the text.

Three primary issues relating to the eighteenth century will be addressed: the changing role of women in European society; the emerging interest in botanical sciences, and the role of the Grand Tour in promoting social change. Experiences of three main characters, Lady Macbain, her brother Andrew and her niece Belinda, offer opportunities to explore these issues from different perspectives.