This week’s research was focused on building the historiography for class. Because of this, I did not do much with primary sources but instead evaluated my secondary sources. I found some new secondary sources dealing with Hugh Dowding’s defensive strategies that he used against the Luftwaffe’s air invasion but for the purposes of the historiography, I only evaluated what the sources I already had acquired had to say on the Dowding System implemented in the Battle of Britain. Most of my sources do greatly credit Hugh Dowding with victory in the battle. However, I did notice a trend with my sources over time that I will look more closely to as I continue to write the historiography. This trend is that my older sources seem to give Dowding more credit for the victory in the Battle of Britain than the more recently written sources. For instance, Asher Lee wrote on how the Dowding System was crucial in the beginning of modern air defense. However, this source was written in the 1950s and, therefore, the defense that he wrote about was not very modern by today’s standards. Meanwhile, Anthony Cumming wrote a piece in 2007 that does give Dowding some credit but also argues that the radar that was previously credited with the victory was not actually that advanced. I will have to look more closely to this trend before I determine where I stand on this matter. My next research steps will be to complete evaluating my secondary sources for the historiography and then to look for military records that can be used for primary sources in my paper.
This week was a very big week in regards to development of my research project. I was able to formulate the trajectory of my research in a way that situates my topic closer to the city of the Philadelphia. I found a large amount of new source material including a number of secondary sources that helped me to get a better understanding of the topic that I thought I wanted to do. The reformulation of my research scope is something that I did expect when I started my paper but I really didn’t expect it to change as much as it has. Although my topic has changed drastically I think that the change in my research and questions/arguments in general has been good for the end point of my project. I think it has allowed me to reach a point where my paper will no longer have “fluff” in it and will include solely practical claims with its respected backing.
At this point I am very satisfied with where I am in regards to my paper. As of re-doing the proposal for my research I have also began to write my historiography. For the portion of the paper my secondary sources are of the most upmost importance. Although the secondary sources are what I need to focus on for this portion I feel as though the lines between the two are somewhat blurred here. It is difficult to really determine where the primary and secondary sources lye because the time period for the development of urban highway systems in the Philadelphia area is far form over. Regardless of where my primary sources are I am very excited about where I am in regards to the development of my project.
This week, I have been researching more primary sources. Using the many of the secondary sources I have found, I have looked at the references used in them. Work and Family in Urban China: Women’s Changing Experience Since Mao by Jiping Zuo has provided many useful primary and secondary sources that I have been researching more into. Her sources have included both interviews and economic data that will be helpful in providing evidence for my paper. The Readings of Series of Important Speeches by the General Secretary of Xi Jinping written by Xi Jinping has provided more information on the economic plans and policies that went into effect in the Reform and Opening Period. In these speeches, Xi describes what the policies were originally intended to do. Also, “How to Correctly Assess Two 30-years Before and During the Reform” by Hong Mei has helped me to better understand the economics of the policies and what they both achieved and did not achieve. Reading this, especially alongside Xi Jinping’s speeches, has helped me to form a better background of the reasons for implementing the policies that were implemented and the long-term economic effects of them.
I have also kept working on my outline. This has helped me to better layout how I plan to write my paper, as well as helped me to find any holes in my research that I need to explore in order to have a thorough final paper. For example, I have started looking more into the feminist groups that campaigned against the policies and the effect that they had.
Following this week’s individual meetings, I looked into the work of Jewish historian Harry Boonin. Boonin’s book, The Jewish Quarter of Philadelphia, focuses on the development and dissolution of a Jewish neighborhood in Old City Philadelphia between roughly 1880 and 1930. The Jewish Quarter was originally composed of Eastern European Jews who lived in poverty and worked long hours in crowded sweatshops. However, Jewish Quarter residents began to advance in the garment industry and migrated to surrounding outskirts and suburbs by the early twentieth century. Boonin argues that this advancement, combined with legal restrictions on Eastern European immigration, led to the collapse of the Jewish Quarter by 1924.
Boonin’s Jewish Quarter provides important information on not only Philadelphia Jewish history, but how the City’s Jewish population changed (socially and geographically) over time. The book coincides directly with the heyday of the SPHAS, who were active between 1917 and 1958, but experienced the most success and notoriety during the 1930s. Boonin’s work also adds another layer to the story of Philadelphia Jewish basketball, as it illustrates the environment and community structure from which most players, coaches, and managers came. Although Boonin is not specifically focused on basketball or athletics in general, I think his work will serve as valuable secondary source material for the final paper.
In addition to Boonin’s book, I also read an article published by Professor Rebecca Alpert, titled “Social Justice, Sport and Judaism: A Position Statement.” While the piece is thematically focused on the application of Jewish theological values to competitive sports, Professor Alpert makes the argument that basketball, more than any other sport, allowed American Jews to participate in American culture without abandoning religious connections. Although this sub-thesis makes up only a small section of Alpert’s article, the SPHAS are used as an example of a team that retained their Jewishness while adapting to American life. I plan on reaching out to Professor Alpert this week with a few questions about why basketball, in particular, allowed for this unique situation and to find out more about how teams like the SPHAS countered the popular stereotype of the weak, uncoordinated diaspora Jew.
RESEARCH BLOG #5
This week I focused on two aspects of my paper, Greek rhetoric, and the historiography of the Melian dialogue. In doing so I found a fantastic source that provided information into both pursuits. Literary Texts And The Greek Historian, by Christopher Pelling, contains an incredible amount of information on the ancient greek rhetorical tradition. Given how Athenian courts were set up, it makes sense that being able to persuade through oration or writing was most certainly a useful skill. In learning more about the tradition the similarities between the Melian Dialogue are uncanny. As a major facet of my essay’s argument is to prove thucydides is sending a message throughout the dialogue, tying it to rhetorical tradition is essential. Pellings’ book will be invaluable for that.
On top of the aforementioned assistance, Pellings’ account of Greek historians is helping me structure my historiographical section. He gives a succinct account of major Greek historians and their contributions to field of study. Pelling goes into detail on the various schools of thought in analyzing and understanding Greek rhetoric. The historiography shows a fluid and changing view on the ever evolving materials. Texts like the Melian Dialogue have such depth, it feels like no two scholars see it the exact same way. His historiography inspires me to show this variety, while also discussing the nature of the text. Unfortunately unlike myself, he has a book in which he can explore topics to full lengths. I will have to find a way to condense the absolutely massive amount of influential material written on the Melian Dialogue starting from two thousand years ago.
During my research this week I continued to work on my outline, introduction paragraphs and my historiography. In my introduction I want to mention my choice on terminology that I have decided to utilize within this research paper. I’ve noticed that a large majority of historians mention their terminology in their works and I felt I should follow their examples, so I have worked on a paragraph outlining which type of terminology I will follow. One of the leading historians in Japanese-American internment is Roger Daniels and his article “Words Matter: A Note on Inappropriate Terminology and the Incarceration of the Japanese American” provided me with a solid templet, but I disagree on his choice of concentration camps, for that I have decided to use internment camps for reasons that will be stated within the introductory paragraphs.
In addition, I have narrowed my secondary sources that I will use in my historiography, although I won’t limit myself to these four sources, I am sure by the end I will have added more to this section of the paper. Although I haven’t finished my historiography I have finished two reviews of the four sources so far.
Finally, two new sources that I have gathered and partially reviewed are the graphic novel Citizen 13660 by Mine Okubo, this book provides a detailed memoir and insight to life within camps, with her illustrations that enhance the story. Another memoir I have found is Farewell to Manzanar, this book follows the Wakatsukis family during their experiences of internment.
This week was spent going through some of the articles suggested to me on my topic proposal. One piece of work that I will absolutely incorporate into my paper was about the Nazi Olympics in 1936 Berlin, from the University of Illinois Press, titled: “The Nazi Olympics: Sport, Politics, and Appeasement in the 1930s. This book also has an entire chapter on Mussolini’s participation at these Olympics. These Olympics were used as a vehicle to spread the ideas of Nazi Fascism. Mussolini saw this event as so successful that he wanted to host the 1940 Olympics and a World’s Fair in Rome. He constructed an entirely new neighborhood of Rome that still stands today, called EUR. This neighborhood provides more art and architecture as primary sources for my paper. I have to start narrowing down which buildings and paintings I’d like to use because there appears to be an abundance of them, which excites me. Next week, I hope to research the 1934 and 1938 World Cups, which perhaps could’ve also been used as forms of Fascist propaganda. My research this week suggested an emphasis on physical health and stature in the age of Fascist Italy, and I’m hoping that both of these World Cup victories by Italy will confirm this societal emphasis.
This week I spent time diving into my primary sources. Because of the nature of my topic, there is a lot of wordy material to sift through in order to find sections directly related to points I am trying to make. To give an example, the Congress-published edition of George Washington’s Farewell Address is thirty-two pages long. After reading and analyzing it, I have found six pages which directly relate to his thoughts on political parties and two pages which contain allusions to their dangers.
Following the one-on-one meetings on Wednesday, I have also spent time this week considering the specifics of how I am going to narrow my topic. My initial topic was the fallout surrounding Washington’s 1793 Proclamation of Neutrality. As I researched the topic more, I came to be interested in how the proclamation impacted America’s political party system. As I read through the primary and secondary sources I have collected, I can feel a cohesive paper forming, I just haven’t been able to locate that elusive “know-it-when-you-see-it” bit of information which ties it all together. For my Intermediate Writing seminar this information arrived in the form of a quote from Jefferson’s biography. I suspect that this time I will find what I am looking for in a letter from the leadership of one of the two political parties. Luckily there are collections of letters for most of these people. Unfortunately finding the relevant sections requires time.
It was mentioned at the Wednesday meeting that I might shift focus to either the Federalists or the Democratic-Republicans as opposed to splitting my time between the two. I have tentatively decided to focus on the Democratic-Republicans and how they used Washington’s proclamation to establish a foothold in the politics of the American public.
I have made more progress this week than in previous weeks for sure. Dr. Lowe being in the classroom once again really contributed to these changes. I am thankful she is feeling better. Wednesday’s visit to her office in class could not have went better. I learned that I will have a harder time than most in finding secondary sources because of the uniqueness behind my topic. Despite a lack of materials for cemeteries, there are some viable resources concerning Philadelphia, urban renewal, and especially blight. When Temple University purchased Monument Cemetery, the land was considered blight, or a severe detriment to the surrounding community. This distinction has been noted in other buildings such as the Comcast Center. Blight has given me a new angle on the project: Does blight status significantly contribute to cemetery removal? I believe the answer to this question will be yes but further research is needed. Dr. Lowe also reaffirmed that I should visit the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s cemetery collection. Exactly when this would take place is up in the air because I heard this weekend that they are not open on weekends. I will create a plan to visit before Spring Break ends.
The recent visit to Special Collections has also played a significant factor in the progress I made this week. On Friday, I again visited the collection. This time I used the opportunity to review Allan M. Heller’s “Philadelphia Area Cemeteries.” Its contents led me to organize my thoughts regarding the upcoming historiography assignment. For instance, I plan to mention exactly who gets moved and why. Additionally I will examine Temple and Penn’s aggressive motives for expansion in the 1950s and see if Penn’s situation was similar with respect to cemetery removal. A sub-argument could be that the City of Philadelphia assisted these entities through certain policies that encouraged blight distinction. Once again more research is needed. I ran into one of my friends on Friday as well who is writing his Honors Thesis paper with Dr. Travis Glasson. He told me that he has some resources regarding Washington Square and the victims of Philadelphia’s Yellow Fever outbreaks. I am hoping to obtain these links as soon as possible, preferably before the historiography assignment is due. On Monday I plan to return to Special Collections to further examine my sources located there. By the end of the weekend I hope to email Jessica Baumert, a contact from the Woodlands Cemetery, about my project. It is my hope to meet with her and for her to provide the clarity I am still searching for. For the time being, though, I am happier with my progress than I have been in a while. I hope to have even more positive developments in the next update.
Following my time in the special collections department of the library this week I was able to begin thinking more intensely on my primary sources. I was opened up to the immense amounts of possible materials that I had no idea were so accessible. The search guide on the special collections website has proven very helping in finding new primary source material including, but not limited to, government documents, news paper articles, and first hand accounts of construction and social/economic impacts. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have access to such a wide variety of primary sources.
I have also chosen to search for more primary sources within the footnotes of my secondary sources. This has also proven to be a very successful way of gathering material to base my claims off of. Because I spent so much time this week focusing on gathering more source material I wasn’t able to write a great deal, but I was able to continue the development of my introduction and opening arguments with the help of the outline provided in this course. The outline has proven to be a very helpful tool in gauging the amount of depth that my paper will need to go into. It has allowed me to understand the quantity of arguments that I will need to make in order to fulfill the word requirement without loosing myself and my audience in rambling and page filling words. Although I was unable to get more than two pages written this week I feel as though I made great strides in the structure of my paper to be and I plan on picking up the stall in writing this upcoming week to stay on track with the word count.