Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Frederick Corney

Committee Member

Andrew Fisher

Committee Member

Nicholas Popper


Internal Colonialism: Questioning the Soviet Union as a Settler Colonial State Through the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars This study examines the deportation of the Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union in 1944 and questions whether it was an example of settler colonialism in action. The Soviet Union’s actions throughout its history have often been deemed colonial and imperialist, however settler colonial theory has rarely been applied to Soviet studies. At a surface level, the deportation appears to fit into settler colonial theory, however upon further scrutiny it becomes clear that it fails to satisfy the necessary conditions. The evidence presented in this essay shows that the deportation of the Crimean Tatars was an event, not a lasting structural change in the Soviet Union. Settler colonial theory posits that settler colonialism is not confined to a single event and is impervious to regime change. The deportation of the Crimean Tatars was the project of a single leader, Joseph Stalin, and the majority of its effects were limited to a short period of time during and after his rule. The event had less to do with the ethnicity of the Crimean Tatars and more with securing the Soviet Union’s borders with Turkey and maintaining control over the Black Sea. The study concludes that although the deportation of the Crimean Tatars is not proof of settler colonialism in action in the Soviet Union, the topic is worth further investigation, as it is dangerous to exclude any powerful nation from such examination. Uranium Fever: Willful Ignorance in Service of Utopia This essay explores public knowledge of the dangers of radium and uranium in the United States between the 1920s and 1960s. It is often assumed that Americans were not aware that radioactive materials presented a danger to their health. Through the examination of mass media, court cases, and newspapers of the time, it becomes clear that not only did Americans know about the dangers of radiation, but that there was a concerted effort by the government and corporations with business interests in radioactive materials to minimize these fears and convince Americans that the dangers were necessary in order to bring about a utopian future of unlimited energy. Americans consciously chose to remain ignorant and ignore clear evidence that radioactive materials were dangerous and willingly followed the propaganda produced by these actors. The reasons Americans chose this path varied from a desire for profit to patriotism.




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