Academic Theses




A Search for Hawaiian Cultural Persistence in the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver (2016)

Hawaiians laborers were present over the entire course of the Hudson's Bay Company's tenure at Fort Vancouver - from 1824 to 1860 - a period that began just 46 years after Captain James Cook first opened sustained non-Polynesian contact with the islands. Historical evidence suggests that Hawaiians hired by the Hudson's Bay Company to work at Fort Vancouver would not have had their culture entirely supplanted by Europeans or others. This thesis uses theories of acculturation/transculturation, colonialism, and domestic planning and architecture to look for evidence of Hawaiian cultural persistence in novel aspects of life at Fort Vancouver. Specifically, I use the results of a recent pollen study to argue that Hawaiians may have propagated and used Hibiscus tiliaceus for medicines, and Hawaiian species of Acacia for tools or furniture. Hawaiians may also have brought, or taken shipments of, the oyster Pinctada margaritifera for use in a craft fishhook industry. Finally, I use archaeological reports spanning the last 50 years of excavations in the Kanaka Village to discuss the case of Operation 14 and two other Village houses built in architectural styles which are uncommon for the region and bear some similarities to traditional Hawaiian architecture. I also describe excavations that took place in the summer of 2015 at the suspected home of a Hawaiian cooper, and discuss possible reasons for why convincing archaeological evidence of Hawaiian culture at Fort Vancouver has been elusive thus far.



Explaining Intervention: The Use of Force by the United States During Operation Provide Comfort (2010)

This thesis attempts to provide evidence for each of three intervention theories using the case of Operation Provide Comfort. The three hypotheses are intervention: as a pursuit of self-interested strategic and economic goals, as a diversionary tactic by the U.S. administration, and as a response to a lobby. Evidence for John Mearsheimer’s self-interest theory is the strongest, as illustrated by the United State’s actions to stabilize Turkey against the tide of incoming Kurdish refugees and its efforts to confine Saddam Hussein following H.W. Bush’s decision to leave him in power after the first Gulf War. The case also shows both positive and negative indicators for the diversionary foreign policy theory as described by Alastair Smith. The lobby theory posited by Chaim Kaufmann and Robert Pape must be eliminated due to the lack of evidence of a significant Kurdish lobby in the United States.