416 results for Undergraduate

  • A Validation Study to Detect Markers of Proliferation Adequacy in the Endometrium

    Burn, Rosamond Sarah (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    Throughout the human female menstrual cycle, the endometrial lining of the uterus transitions from a non-receptive proliferative state to a receptive secretory state. This transition is required to prepare the endometrium for an embryo to successfully implant. Transitioning of the endometrium is governed by various genes, but the cellular processes are poorly understood. Unfortunately, for some women this process is compromised, resulting in the endometrium being inadequately primed for implantation and conception repeatedly fails. This is known as recurrent implantation failure (RIF). The aim of this study was to identify different markers within the functionalis layer of the endometrium that are important for implantation success. Qualitative and quantitative protein analysis was used to compare endometrial tissue biopsies between women with different fertility phenotypes. Biopsies were collected from women attending a single fertility clinic, with collection completed during the early-secretory (pre-receptive LH+2) phase of the menstrual cycle. Cryo-sectioning was used to cut tissue sections, revealing glandular epithelium, luminal epithelium, and stromal cells. Immunofluorescence and SDS-PAGE combined with Western blots were used to assess protein expression. Expression levels of 25 different proteins previously reported to be involved in endometrial proliferation that feature in endometrial focal adhesion or cell cycle pathways were compared between four cohorts; Fertile (n=5), RIF(n=6), Research (n=6), and Other (n=4). Quantitative PCR was also used to detect relative mRNA expression levels in the endometrium between the internal references (ACTB and CYC1) and the target genes (EGFR, PCNA, PGR, and MCM2). It was found that endometrial protein profiles differ during the early-secretory, LH+2, phase of the menstrual cycle, between women who are fertile and women with clinically defined RIF. Immunofluorescence results showed a statistically significant increase of CCNA, PCNA, MKI67, and SMAD3, and decrease of IL1R1, in the fertile cohort in comparison to the RIF cohort. Western blot also showed statistically significant up-regulation of PCNA in the fertile group, as well as PGR and YWHAZ. Gene expression profiles did not differ between fertile women and women with RIF, however there was a significant reduction of PGR and PCNA in the Research and Other groups in comparison to the Fertile and RIF groups. In this pilot study, protein and gene analysis was able to detect alterations of expression in groups of women with different fertility phenotypes. Further exploration of these markers could help determine their possible role in endometrial dysfunction in RIF women and establish a clinical panel to indicate endometrial preparation adequacy.

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  • Investigating the anti-invasive properties of dexamethasone in Fn14 positive triple negative breast cancer.

    Harris, Joshua (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive disease subtype with no current targeted systemic therapies due to a lack of actionable molecular targets. Efforts to identify therapeutic targets in TNBC have revealed that Fn14, a cytokine receptor, is over-expressed in most invasive breast cancers (1, 2) but not in healthy breast tissue. Fn14 has been shown to activate canonical NF-κB signalling (3), which in turn, transactivates the Fn14 promoter (3) leading to an autoregulatory loop that may drive invasive capacity (2) in breast cancer. We hypothesised that repression of the Fn14/NF-κB feedback loop may reduce Fn14 expression and invasive capacity in breast cancer. As corticosteroids are known to attenuate NF-κB activity through glucocorticoid receptor alpha (GR⍺), we postulated that corticosteroids might impact Fn14 expression. We investigated this likelihood in three TNBC cell lines positive for GR⍺ and Fn14 (BT-549, MDA-MB-436 and SUM149PT). Following 24h treatment with the corticosteroid, dexamethasone (DEX), we observed a decrease in Fn14 protein expression. In parallel, DEX reduced invasive capacity in vitro by an average of 40% with the most significant and consistent response in BT-549 cells. The DEX-mediated reduction in Fn14 expression and invasive capacity are likely due to a repressive relationship between GR⍺ and NF-κB. However, the potential mechanisms of repression are complex and poorly understood in breast cancer. To investigate this mechanism, we first used immunocytochemistry to visualise the spatial location of GR⍺ and NF-κB (p65) in BT-549 cells after 24h of DEX. Our results showed rapid nuclear translocation of GR⍺ and subtle nuclear exclusion of p65. We quantified this observation using western blotting over a 24h time course with DEX using subcellular fractionation of BT-549 cells. These data suggest that a repressive physical interaction between GR⍺ and p65 is unlikely, due to the opposite movement of transcription factors between cellular compartments. Interestingly, IκB⍺, an inhibitor of NF-κB, exhibited a subtle DEX-mediated increase in protein expression over 24h, corresponding with the cytoplasmic retention of p65. Our data, therefore, supports a model that repression of NF-κB signalling may be achieved through de novo NF-κB inhibition. Additionally, BT-549 cells transfected with an NF-κB-response element/luciferase reporter plasmid showed an intriguing increase in luciferase activity following 24h of DEX. It was later shown that this may have been caused by DEX-induced glucocorticoid resistance due to the downregulation of GR⍺ after DEX treatment. These results demonstrate a novel mechanism for Fn14-mediated invasion. However, investigation in additional cell lines is required. The induction of DEX-mediated glucocorticoid resistance also questions the clinical significance of glucocorticoid based therapy in the treatment of TNBC.

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  • Hepatitis B in Oman, risk factors and sequelae

    AlHarthi, Rahma (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    Background Hepatitis B is a major public health problem worldwide. The prevalence of hepatitis B is dependent on the modes in which it is transmitted. There are two common modes of hepatitis B virus (HBV) spread: vertical (mother to neonate) and the horizontal (via infected blood or body fluids). Chronic infection with HBV can progress to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma; HCC). Oman is regarded as an intermediate endemicity region and has had neonatal vaccine against HBV since 1990; however, little research has been conducted in Oman regarding risk factors for hepatitis B and its contribution to end stage liver disease and HCC. Aims  To identify the prevalence of major risk factors for acquiring hepatitis B in Omani patients currently infected with HBV (positive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)).  To estimate the contribution of hepatitis B to liver cirrhosis in Oman. Methods The prevalence of major risk factors was identified by interviewing HBsAg positive patients using a standard questionnaire. Patients were recruited from outpatient clinics at two tertiary referral hospitals in Oman’s capital city Muscat. Data on patients with liver cirrhosis admitted to two tertiary hospitals in Muscat over a period of seven years was abstracted from medical records. The diagnosis of cirrhosis was confirmed using defined criteria and the aetiology confirmed from the results of diagnostic tests including HBV serology. This data was analysed to estimate the contribution of HBV to cirrhosis in the cohort. Results For the first objective, 279 patients were interviewed. The number of male and female patients was similar, and 75.5% of the participants were aged 20 – 39 years. Antenatal screening was the most common means of detecting HBV infection in women and prior to blood donation was the most common means of identifying HBV infection in men. With respect to HBV transmission risk factors, intra-familial contact with HBV infected persons and behavioural risks such as body piercing (females) and barber shaving (males) were more common than nosocomial risk factors. Knowledge about HBV infection was scarce among our participants. For the second objective, we identified records from 419 patients with cirrhosis. The median age was 59 years and males accounted for two thirds of the total studied population. 97.1% of patients were of Omani ethnicity. There was evidence of previous or current HBV infection (positive anti-bodies to hepatitis B core antigen) in 51.3% of the cirrhotic patients. 21.5% had active HBV (positive HBsAg). Of the patients with current HBV 91.2% were infected with HBV alone while 8.8% were co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C was present in 30.5% of cirrhotic patients and nearly half of those patients had evidence of past exposure to HBV. When stratified by gender, HBV infection was more common among male cirrhotic patients compared to females. Conclusions This study found that risk factors for HBV infection in Omani patients include direct contact of infected individuals within a family and exposure to high-risk behaviours such as piercing and barber shaving. Reducing vertical and horizontal transmission of hepatitis B in Oman could be improved by the implementation of routine antenatal screening of pregnant women and a greater focus on contact screening respectively. Future work is required to determine whether the association with behavioural risk factors is causal, particularly piercing and shaving at barber shops. If confirmed, relatively simple and effective interventions could be developed to reduce the risk of horizontal transmission related to these activities. We found that third of the patients identified with liver cirrhosis had past exposure to HBV and 20% had evidence of chronic infection. Most patients were of older age and male sex. This group of patients may benefit from antiviral therapy to prevent decompensation and regular surveillance for early diagnosis and treatment of HCC. Further research is required to assess the role of other exposures (alcohol, co-infection with other viruses) in the prognosis of hepatitis B to cirrhosis in Oman.

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  • The Epidemiology of Breast Cancer in Oman

    AL Farsi, Shamsa (2014)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    Background Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females around the world. Annually, more than one million women are diagnosed with breast cancer globally. In Oman, breast cancer is also the most common cancer in females and its incidence has been rising over the years. Published studies have shown that many Omani women have late stage breast cancer at presentation. Possible reasons for this have not been explored. Although Oman has in place a mortality registration database, no population-based mortality data from breast cancer are available. Likewise, the only data available about survival rate of people with breast cancer come from a hospital-based study. Aims The main aims of the research described in this thesis are: 1) To identify the extent of delay in breast cancer diagnosis in Oman. 2) To assess the relationship between delay and socio-demographic characteristics, medical and obstetric history, nature of presenting symptoms and women’s knowledge about breast cancer. 3) To identify reasons for delay in seeking medical help for self-detected breast cancer symptoms in Omani women. 4) To calculate the population-based survival rate from breast cancer in Oman. Methods Aims 1, 2 and 3 were addressed by a study of 150 patients attending oncology clinics in both the Royal Hospital and Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, who were interviewed using structured questionnaires. Patient delay was defined as a period of three months or more between an individual's first awareness of a sign or a symptom of illness and the initial medical consultation. In order to calculate survival rate, the National Cancer Registry records were to be linked to mortality databases in Oman (Directorate General of Civil Status and to the Parallel Mortality Database). Results The final analysis of delay included 144 patients with breast cancer. The median time taken by women in this sample between discovering the breast symptoms and seeing a doctor was 14 days. 56.9% of the patients had a medical consultation in less than a month after detecting symptoms, whereas 20.1 % had a consultation within 1 to 2 months. 22.9 % of the patients delayed consultation by ≥ 3 months. Of the socio-demographic characteristics examined in this study, it was observed that older age, low educational level and employment status were associated with patient delay. Practice of breast self-examination and having a history of chronic disease were also predictors of delay. 44% of patients had early stage disease (stage I/stage II) compared to 56% of patients with late stage disease (stage III/stage IV). However, patient delay was not associated with advanced stage cancer in this study. The main reasons given for delay were: failure to recognise the symptoms to be breast cancer, not seeing oneself at risk for breast cancer, fear and embarrassment, use of alternative therapy and family and work commitments. Due to ethical consideration, I was not able obtain data from Omani NCR and therefore the linking to mortality databases was not possible. Conclusion This study is the first in Oman to investigate the extent of patient delay for women with self-discovered breast symptoms and the factors that influence this delay. The findings of this study indicate the need for public education aimed at raising breast cancer awareness. Further, initiating a screening program in Oman should be considered to help women achieve diagnosis of the disease in its early stages. Population-based cancer research should be encouraged in Oman, and efforts should be taken to improve the quality and completeness of cancer data, which are important in providing on-going monitoring of cancer.

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  • A novel strategy to prevent bacterial biofilm formation using methylthioadenosine-nucleosidase inhibitors

    Swadi, Tara Harith (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    Each year there are approximately 2.9 million joint replacement surgeries performed worldwide. Great efforts have been made to reduce infection rates in these replacements in the past and yet these rates have not decreased in the past 20 years. These infections are often caused by the formation of biofilms on the surface of the implant by skin bacteria that are implanted at the time of surgery. The S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) cycle has important roles in bacterial biofilm formation. Methylthioadenosine-nucleosidase (MTAN) is an important component in this cycle. The Ferrier Institute at Victoria University have synthesized approximately thirty compounds which have been shown to inhibit the MTAN enzyme. Testing of ten organisms of each Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis all isolated from infected joint prosthesis was undertaken to determine the strongest biofilm formers. Over 90% of organisms that infect prosthetic joint replacements are found to be S. epidermidis or S. aureus, which is why these organisms were used as models. The isolates in combination with MTAN inhibitors (MTANi) were screened using a crystal violet assay to determine biofilm formation. An optical density reading was used to determine bacterial growth. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing on four clinically relevant antibiotics was performed using a doubling dilution broth culture method. The effect of these antibiotics on the efficacy of the lead inhibitor was analysed using an optical density growth assay and static biofilm assay. Fluorescent images of the biofilms were produced using the LIVE/DEAD® BacLight™ bacterial viability method of staining. In testing of the strongest biofilm forming isolates, a lead compound (MTANi18) has been identified that inhibited biofilm formation in both S. aureus and S. epidermidis. Some effects on growth were noted at high concentrations of the MTAN inhibitor. It has been observed that MTANi18 affects the action of four clinically relevant antibiotics, in an agonistic manner. Further testing is required to determine the extent of this phenomenon. These findings have important implications in the potential therapeutic uses of the MTAN inhibitors.

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  • An attack on womanhood : the sterilisation of women in Nazi Germany.

    Farrow, Amelia (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This dissertation examines the practice of eugenic sterilisation of women in Nazi Germany, specifically how it impacted the lives of the women who were forced to undergo it. It aims to provide insight into an area that has not been explored much in current historiography. The paper looks at the origins of sterilisation within Germany, the experience of the women in Germany and the concentration camps, as well as the post war treatment of sterilised women. This dissertation explores a variety of sources, from the testimony of women and doctors, to Nazi sterilisation propaganda and the sterilisation laws themselves. It shows that sterilisation was not a new concept to Germany or other western countries, though the way in which it was carried out under the Nazis was unique to their racial and political ideals. The women who were forcibly sterilised suffered from both physical and psychological side effects, exacerbated by the perceptions of sterilisation at the time. Even after the war, the prevalence of sterilisation in other countries meant that little acknowledgement was given to those who had endured it within Nazi Germany. Although this changed with time, as more non-Jewish victims were given reparations in the 1980s and later, this dissertation shows that it did not erase the suffering that had already occurred.

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  • Genocide on Fleet Street : the Armenian genocide in the British press, 1915-1918.

    Steel, Daniel (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This paper examines British attitudes towards the Armenian genocide through the three most prominent contemporary newspapers: the Times, the Manchester Guardian and the Daily Mail. In particular, it considers the nature and extent of these papers’ interest in the events and, as far as can be discerned, that of their readers. Despite substantial scholarly interest in atrocity narratives in First World War Britain, British reception of the Armenian genocide, by far the war’s worst atrocity, has attracted little attention. Historians in this area, who concern themselves overwhelmingly with atrocities committed by the German military, have given the subject only passing mention. Conversely, recent inquiries by scholars of humanitarianism have focused almost exclusively on reception amongst Britain’s pro-Armenian humanitarian advocates, giving only supplementary consideration to the press. This paper adopts a comparative approach, contrasting the presentation of the genocide in the ‘elite press’ (the Times and the Guardian) with that of the most prominent and widely-circulated ‘popular’ newspaper, the Mail, in order to consider differing attitudes amongst upper- and middle-class observers respectively. While the elite press provided significant coverage of the events, demonstrating a humanitarian concern for the Armenian victims, the Mail gave the genocide only passing attention, despite its potential propaganda value and having access to a substantial volume of graphic eye-witness accounts. Two conclusions are drawn from this disparity. First, it is suggested that the Mail’s inattention resulted from a lack of interest by their readers, indicating that the Armenian cause was a predominantly elite phenomenon. Second, it is argued that the Mail exercised a deliberate editorial decision not to reproduce much of the details published by the elite press, demonstrating that the Mail’s long-standing scholarly reputation as a government propaganda outlet ‘duping’ the public into the war through graphic atrocity stories is unfounded.

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  • Friends to China : the role and impact of the Friends’ Ambulance Unit during the Chinese ‘War of Resistance’ (1937-1945).

    Williams, Eve (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Friends’ Ambulance Unit, associated with the Society of Friends, was a group that provided an alternative option to military service for conscientious objectors during both World War I and II.1 They provided transportation and medical aid to those affected by the war, concentrating mainly on the European mainland. In 1941 however, they sent a section to China to help aid and relieve the suffering caused by the ‘War of Resistance’. China had been engaged in a bitter conflict with Japan since 1937 causing great suffering for the peoples of China. The China section of the FAU drew people from all over the world, including New Zealand. Members of the Society of Friends, Christchurch brothers Neil and John Johnson responded to a call for assistance and in 1945 they arrived in China. Their letters and other written material found in the Johnson archive located in the Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury, provide an invaluable source to illustrate the important role the FAU played in China during this time. It also demonstrated that because of the scale of the war, however, the FAU’s impact was more localized than general. Very little scholarly work has been done on the contribution made by New Zealand to the China section of the Friends’ Ambulance Unit during WWII. Only one book relates to this area; Caitriona Cameron’s Go Anywhere do Anything: New Zealanders and the Friends Ambulance Unit 1945-51.2 This essay aims to highlight this relatively unknown story. It also adds to the fields of a social history of China, scholarship that examines aid and relief work and New Zealand conscientious objector literature.

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  • A genocide denied : the ‘half-castes’ of Australia during the stolen generations of 1905-1970 as genocide.

    Duff, Amy Louise (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    In the early 1990s the Wilson-Dodson enquiry was commissioned by the then Labour Government to investigate the issue of Aboriginal children being forcibly removed from their homes between 1900 and 1970. The children removed became known as the Stolen Generations. In 1997 the Wilson-Dodson enquiry published the findings in the Bringing Them Home Report which sparked intense public and academic debate around the issue of the forced removal of Aboriginal children, particularly whether it constituted genocide. In the wake of the report scholars investigated how the actions of the federal and state governments and their agencies relates to the 1949 United Nations definition of genocide. But this scholarship has not engaged specifically with the genocide of the ‘half-caste’ population. Apprehension around part-Aboriginal individuals arose in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when many white Australians feared a growing ‘coloured’ population. This dissertation addresses this gap in the literature by exploring the removal of the ‘half-caste’ children in the states of Western Australia and New South Wales. Laws enacted by both state legislatures clearly reveals genocidal intent. The effects of the policy can be seen through victim’s testimonies, which show the long term consequences of being removed, and highlight other aspects of genocide. This research also aims to examine other aspects of genocide in relation to the part-Aboriginal population, including severe mental and physical harm, conditions of life that were calculated to bring about its destruction, and the imposition of measures intended to prevent births within the group. I argue that these actions can be considered as genocide in accordance to the United Nations definition these actions can be considered as genocide.

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  • Locked out of the changing room? : a gendered history of surf lifesaving in Canterbury 1917-1990.

    Simatos, Elena Marie (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Since its beginning in the early twentieth century, surf lifesaving in New Zealand has been a predominantly male sport. This research essay examines the position of women in the Canterbury Surf Life Saving Association (CSLSA). It studies the Minutes and Annual Reports of the CSLSA in order to shed light on male attitudes toward female participation in the sport. The male attitude towards female surf lifesavers has generally been negative, although the degree of this negativity has varied across different surf clubs in New Zealand and Australia. The CSLSA was heavily focused on its public image, and this image was predominantly masculine. Women were often seen by men as lacking the physical capabilities required to participate in surf lifesaving. This research essay also addresses domestic roles within the surf clubs that allowed women to have some involvement in the clubs. It also discusses how factors such as the outbreak of World War Two allowed for women to become active surf lifesavers and begin to have a voice. There were some successful women within the CSLSA, yet only two women achieved significant recognition within the Association’s Minutes and Annual Reports. The main focus of this research essay is to determine male attitudes towards women within surf lifesaving in Canterbury.

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  • Gendered nationalism, egalitarian revolution : women in the political discourses of Gandhi and Ambedkar.

    Wills, Frank Kerry (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This dissertation examines how women were positioned in the political discourses of B. R. Ambedkar and M. K. Gandhi through an analysis of their speeches, articles, and correspondence. Comparisons between these two men have focused on their conflicting views of the Indian caste system. However, both Gandhi and Ambedkar commented extensively on the place of women in Indian society. A comparison of their respective views reveals a shared goal of realising social, political, and legal equality for women. However, they articulated different means of achieving that goal. This dissertation argues that differences between Gandhi’s and Ambedkar’s respective discourses on women emerged from their divergent political ideologies. Chapter one shows that Gandhi’s discourse on women was a complex and fluctuating product of competing influences, including his role as leader of the Indian nationalist movement, the impact of contemporary events, and his tendency toward conservatism. This suggests that his discourse on women was subject to many of the same concerns as his general politics. Chapter two shows that Ambedkar’s discourse on women was heavily influenced by his emancipatory, modernising, egalitarian, and social interventionist political ideology. The interface between caste and gender in Ambedkar’s writing is also examined. It is argued that he identified correlations between caste and gender-based discriminations. Overall, despite the appearance of similarities between Gandhi’s and Ambedkar’s respective discourses on women, their respective discourses on women evinced separate influences and ideologies.

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  • Reformation and romance : Scottish national. identity in a nineteenth century British age of reform, through the Edinburgh political press.

    Anderson, Jonathan (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    In the nineteenth century, Scottish national identity among the political elite of Scotland was a contested field. Rather than there being a single conception of ‘Scottishness’ among this elite, the Whigs contributors of the Edinburgh Review and the Tory contributors of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine each embodied a distinctive Whig and Tory Scottish identity: a Whig identity based on Scotland’s future progress within the United Kingdom and dismissive of Scotland’s ‘backward’ pre-Union heritage; and a Tory identity that romanticised and celebrated Scottish history, while casting itself as the ‘defender’ of Scottish nationhood within the United Kingdom. This study explores these different Scottish identities. It considers both how they responded to, and how they were changed by the British age of reform. Three reforms in particular – the Test and Corporation Acts repeal of 1828, Catholic Emancipation in 1829, and the Great Reform Act of 1832 – form the focus. Using magazine articles authored by prominent Scottish Whigs and Tories of the day, the research shows how these identities shifted. Scottish Whigs ardently supported all three reforms, seeing it as representing Scotland’s ‘British progress’ and ‘enlightenment’. But their arguments also employed language of Scottish exceptionalism and patriotism that they claimed to oppose. Scottish Tories, zealously opposed to reform, expressed opposition using Scottish patriotic language, particularly by portraying reforms as representing a threat to Scotland’s ancient nationhood. This dissertation argues that by the end of this reforming era, the victorious Scottish Whig identity had adopted the patriotic arguments of the Scottish Tories, who ultimately faded. It provides valuable insight into how Scotland’s governing elite viewed Scottish identity and nationhood, particularly within a wider British context, and how these identities shifted as part of the transformative effects of reform on Scotland and Britain.

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  • Women, migration, and madness : a case study of Seaview Lunatic Asylum, 1872-1915.

    Julian, Renée (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This dissertation examines the interconnections between migration, madness, and femininity through a case study of the women committed to Seaview Lunatic Asylum on New Zealand’s West Coast from 1872 to 1916. Psychiatric histories that include discussions of the effects that migrating to the goldfields can have on migrant’s mental health have been a recent development, although a number of these studies tend to focus on men. Moreover, while there have been studies of the connections between migration and insanity on nineteenth-century goldfields in Otago and Victoria, this has never been attempted for the West Coast. In order to bridge this gap, I examine women’s migration and mobility patterns during the West Coast rushes in addition to demographics within the asylum and the West Coast population to locate the Seaview women with the framework of broader cultural and societal trends. I then consider the ways which ‘social stressors’ and dominant attitudes towards femininity and ethnicity on the goldfields are reflected in women’s experiences of madness. The Seaview women were highly mobile, both nationally and internationally, and were part of strong Trans-Tasman migration patterns. Like many other nineteenth-century asylums, diagnoses of insanity became highly gendered because of the influence of colonial views of femininity, making perceptions and experiences of women’s madness different from men’s. Asylum records also mirror the blurred ethnic boundaries that characterised the West Coast in this period, and ‘social stressors’ such as the harsh environmental conditions on the goldfields, domestic concerns and working conditions greatly influenced the deterioration of women’s mental health and committal to Seaview.

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  • Roll call : the motivations behind the inclusion of women on the Canterbury roll

    Parker, Thandiwe Rose (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Gender has been largely overlooked in the study of political ideas and their representation on genealogical chronicle rolls. One such roll, the Canterbury Roll, is housed at the University of Canterbury. Dating from the fifteenth-century, the five-metre long parchment features a genealogy of the kings of England, and was constructed to support the claims to the throne made by contemporary kings. It traces the lineage of the contemporary ruler Edward IV, through mythical kings such as Arthur, to the biblical figure of Noah. Over the approximately fifty years during which it was written, the Roll was subject to editing, as various political events influenced its content. This dissertation examines the women who feature on the Canterbury Roll, in both its original and edited form, in order to understand the place of women in the contemporary political context. It compares the written text of the roll with the chronicle histories on which its compilers drew, in order to determine the motivations behind the women’s inclusion. Four scribal hands are identified in this dissertation, and three of those hands are used as historical tools to uncover the motivations behind the inclusion of women. Each scribal hand reveals a different political motivation, and women were included on the Roll to shape the contemporary audience’s political perceptions. This dissertation reveals that women who conformed to a contemporary feminine ideal were celebrated while those who did not conform were portrayed negatively.

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  • Propaganda in prose : a comparative analysis of language in British Blue Book reports on atrocities and genocide in early twentieth-century Britain.

    Gilmour, Thomas (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This paper examines three British Blue Book reports published in early twentieth-century Britain during the war period. The first report examines the invasion of Belgium by the German army and their maltreatment of Belgian people. The second report discusses the Committee of Union and Progress’ acts of cruelty against Armenian Christians. Both of these reports were authored, compiled and then distributed by the British Government in Britain and other Western countries. The third report discusses German colonial rule in South-West Africa and their abuse of ‘native’ Herero. This report was compiled and authored in South- West Africa, but published for a British audience. This dissertation engages in a comparative analysis of these three Blue Book reports. It examines how they are structurally different, but thematically and qualitatively similar. Investigation begins with discussion of the reports’ authors and how they validate claims made in the respective prefaces. Subsequently, there is examination of thematic similarities between each report’s historical narratives. Historiography is employed extensively to contextualise these reports and engage in wider debates on their objectives. This dissertation engages with three major strands of historiography: The British Government’s employment of propaganda during the First World War British Blue Books reports; and wartime propaganda. The South-West African report has a lack historiography. This paper seeks to fill a gap, while also adding to modern scholarship on British Blue Books. This dissertation demonstrates that wartime British Blue Books were not unique, as they deliberately illustrate similar thematic tropes and rhetorical devices throughout both their prefaces and historical narratives.

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  • Soviets on ice : the reception of Soviet ice hockey propaganda in Canada, 1954-1981.

    Pickworth, Katherine Alice (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This research paper examines how Soviet ice hockey was received by the Canadian media from 1954 to 1981. Canadian newspapers and game commentary have been utilised in this research paper to gage reaction to the Soviet success in ice hockey, and how the media viewed the Soviet National team. Soviet ice hockey challenged the Canadian public’s core belief that they were the best at their national game. In the Cold War climate this feud between the two sporting rivals would enable the Soviets to capture the attention of the Canadian public on a level which was not emulated through another form of propaganda. As de-Stalinisation was occurring in the Soviet Union, ice hockey would emulate Nikita Khrushchev’s policy of aggressive ‘peaceful coexistence’ by beating a Western nation at its own game. This paper is the first to extensively analyse the Canadian newspapers The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star. Unlike most historiography in this field, this dissertation combines the amateur years of the Soviet-Canadian rivalry (1954-1969), with the games against professional NHL players in the Summit Series (1972-1981). From 1954 until 1970 ice hockey was seen as a clash of capitalist and socialist systems, however, the 1972 series personalised Soviet players to the Canadian media and public. Soviet ice hockey was a successful propaganda tool into Canada through applying a personal face to the Cold War foreign power.

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  • He aha te kai o te rangatira i te ao hurihuri? : what is the food of chiefs in a changing world?: leadership in Te Tau Ihu in the late twentieth century.

    Williams, Madi (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This research examines the nature of Māori leadership in Te Tau Ihu during the late twentieth century. A Te Tau Ihu focus has been chosen as I whakapapa to Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Kōata, and Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō. The existing historiography on Māori leadership is focused on national scale leaders and fails to adequately take into account local factors. This dissertation analyses how leadership manifested in late twentieth-century Te Tau Ihu. The research was conducted using a combination of oral history and kaupapa Māori methodologies and thematic interviews were undertaken with three current Te Tau Ihu leaders. These interviews directed the research and highlighted the leadership roles and attributes that were necessary during this period. The key conclusion to emerge was that there are crucial differences within Māori leadership, depending on the iwi, region, and context. Within Te Tau Ihu leadership roles were primarily centred around a fight for cultural recognition and the initial steps of the Treaty Settlement process. They were filled by volunteers who had a range of attributes such as charisma, communication skills, bravery, manaakitanga, and humility. It was the combination of these roles and attributes that enabled Te Tau Ihu iwi to move forward so successfully into the twenty first century.

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  • ‘A clubbed skull or a good shipwreck, there is the death for a missionary… but to die a leper should be more precious still…’ : heroic missionary deaths of the 20th century at the Pacific Leprosy Asylum, Makogai Island, Fiji.

    Hawarden, Rosanne (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Through Bishop Julien Vidal of Suva, Fiji, the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM) provided nursing services to leprosy sufferers in the Makogai Island leprosarium, Fiji from its inception in 1911. In a period when the cause of leprosy was known but an effective remedy was not available, Pacific leprosy patients who suffered stigmatisation and rejection by their communities, were forcibly segregated through formal legislation to remote island leprosaria. Religious and humanitarian organisations aligned leprosy control measures with their goals to evangelise and fundraise amongst the faithful. The Catholic Church became known for the care of leprosy patients with staff recognised for devoting their lives to a self-sacrificing religious martyrdom. Early histories presented a sanitised view of the arduous work involved in running a ‘total’ institution. Mythologised tales of lived events on Makogai Island were couched in religious terminology. The process of mythmaking by missionary organisations has received some attention, notably by Young and Luder, but has not focussed on missions to leprosy sufferers. Young considered the necessary conditions for missionary legends to develop while Luder analysed the mythmaking of Polynesian peoples and use of sacred imagery to cloak deeper knowledge reserved for elites. Examination of the records of Bishop Vidal exposes the layer of insider knowledge that was kept within official circles, including information on the high rates of illness amongst the nuns, whose hygiene regimes required the use of toxic chemicals. Very few missionaries died from leprosy, whereas drowning was a common fate. Two specific deaths on Makogai Island, the death of a priest in a shipwreck and a nursing sister from leprosy, were progressively mythologised. The violent death of a European priest was more likely to be mythologised than that of a ‘native’ nun who contracted leprosy. The rousing phrases of Bishop Vidal are more aspirational than actuality.

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  • 'The imperial character' : Alexius I Comnenus and the Byzantine ideal of emperorship.

    Rolston, Elisabeth Michelle (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The twelfth century saw what has been acknowledged by historians as a change in the nature of Byzantine emperorship with the reign of Alexius I Comnenus (1081-1118) and his succeeding dynasty. The rule of the Comneni has been associated with an emphasis on military achievement and a greater dynastic focus. While the practical changes to imperial rule under the Comneni have been well documented by historians, a focus on the character of the emperor and his depiction in historical writing has not yet received scholarly attention. The reign of Alexius was documented by two twelfth-century historians, Anna Comnena and John Zonaras. Their works offer two markedly different interpretations of Alexius's character and his suitability to occupy the imperial office. Anna Comnena's Alexiad draws on Biblical and Classical traditions to establish Alexius as the model of an ideal emperor. John Zonaras's Epitome Historiarum sets different standards for private men and for emperors. While Alexius's character is sufficiently virtuous for a private man, he falls short of the standard imposed for an emperor. This research shows that both writers create an ideal of emperorship in which the character of the emperor plays a vital role. The nature of this ideal, and the influences that inform it, are unique to each writer. Anna and John identify similar character traits in Alexius. Their point of difference, however, is whether they believe Alexius's character is suitable for the imperial office, and the extent to which he fulfils their ideal standard of emperorship.

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  • Effectiveness and safety of vitamin D compounds in people with chronic kidney disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

    Okamura-Kho, Amy (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    Vitamin D therapy is commonly prescribed for people with chronic kidney disease to improve biochemical perturbations; however, evidence of effects on patient-centred outcomes such as mortality, cardiovascular events and fracture are uncertain. We updated a systematic review and meta-analysis of all available randomised controlled trials on vitamin D compounds in chronic kidney disease to determine its effects on clinical and biochemical outcomes as well as its optimum route of administration, frequency and dose. Searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Renal Group specialised register databases identified 164 eligible studies that enrolled 10,333 participants. Based on low to very low quality evidence assessed using GRADE methodology, vitamin D had uncertain effects on all-cause mortality, fracture, parathyroidectomy, bone pain and progression to end-stage kidney disease. Compared to placebo, new vitamin D compounds may reduce major cardiovascular events by 18 to 58 people per 1000 people who have chronic kidney disease not receiving dialysis. Vitamin D reduced serum parathyroid hormone levels by 116 pg/ml (12.7 pmol/l) on average, while increasing serum calcium by 0.33 mg/dl (0.08 mmol/l) and phosphorus by 0.19 mg/dl (0.06 mmol/l) when compared to placebo. We are moderately confident that vitamin D therapy increases episodes of hypercalcaemia by 14 to 64 people per 1000 people treated. Effects of different vitamin D compounds, routes of administration, frequency and doses of vitamin D were not discernible from existing evidence. Additional trials are likely to change these estimated treatment effects and are needed to increase confidence in the evidence that informs clinical practice guidelines for vitamin D in people with chronic kidney disease.

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