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.
Following the session in the library’s Special Collections Research Center I started to think more about the primary sources I want to use in my paper. Prior to the session I was somewhat nervous about how and where I would gather primary sources, as the preliminary searches I made didn’t turn up much. However, I’ve spent some time using the finding aids tool on the Special Collections website and found a collection of pictures from a former Philadelphia YMHA basketball coach, a record of Jewish community centers that includes basketball game logs, and an archive of the Philadelphia Jewish Times, a newspaper that covered Jewish basketball between 1949 and 1973.
Originally I planned on relying on Philadelphia Inquirer historical records as a major primary source bank for my project. Finding new non-Inquirer sources encouraging, as I honestly was not sure what kind of primary source material would exist for such a specific topic. Additionally, Audrey provided a really helpful journal article in her peer review, titled Social Justice, Sport and Judaism: A Position Statement. The article explores Jewish responses to anti-Semitism through athletics (and specifically discusses the SPHAS), and was written by Temple professor Rebecca Alpert. I’m excited about Social Justice, Sport and Judaism, as it examines Jewish involvement in sports in a way that I hope to emulate.
This week was filled with ups and downs as far as my paper is concerned. New considerations and applications have refined the way I will go about my project. The most positive development of this week was visiting the Special Collections Research Center at Paley Library. There I met Jose Hurtado, the librarian who displayed the center to our class. He showed me how to register to request materials at the Research Center and provided me with two resources that I earlier could not find at the Stacks. Then I proceeded to have the Center hold them for two weeks. This will be beneficial because they were resources that I needed but could not find. However, I made more of an effort than just obtaining sources. I stayed after the presentation and gathered more sources, including additional web articles. I finally narrowed down my topic to vanished cemeteries, a term Thomas H. Keels uses in his book “Philadelphia Graveyards and Cemeteries.” Before they closed, I obtained a list of vanished cemeteries he lists in the index. This development will help me discover more about what I would like to discuss, possibly including a specific cemetery. It also led me to re-calibrate my project.
At Special Collections, I got the idea to perhaps map out all or some vanished cemeteries in a storyboard format. The storyboard map idea has re-emerged for this reason. If this is the route I choose to go in, I will visit Special Collections frequently. Dr. Stephen Nepa’s resource I discussed in my first update provided me with an additional special collection previously unknown to me. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has a special collection on cemeteries at their museum. In addition to two contacts at cemeteries themselves, I believe I will use contacts there for primary source material. I still need to figure out the feasibility of such a project. Therefore, I look forward to discussing this possibility with Dr. Lowe. I wish I could have advanced even further along in the project this week. I missed the opportunity to discuss my project and my classmates’ this week due to the structure of the class. Hopefully we can get back to that interaction soon. Yet I still like the direction my project is moving towards. By the time we get to next Sunday, I hope to have more focus and direction towards my project and its execution. A meeting with Dr. Lowe should help.
This week I really put time into different translations and Greek analysis. I explored translations by Crawley, Hornblower, and Hobbes. As each translator presents a slightly different product I plan on trying to use an amalgam of all three. It should be noted that Hobbes’ translation was done in 1629 and the first published anglification of Thucydides. Due to its revolutionary nature and time period the language is extremely adventurous. This makes it both my favorite translation to read and the most dangerous to rely on academically. Luckily analysts such as Hornblower and Macleod are able to contain and discuss Hobbes’ translation without falling for his expressive writing. The two aforementioned authors have really been the backbone of my research this week. I have been continually working through Hornblower’s analysis (which also presents an amazing collection of secondary sources) of both the Melian Dialogue, and its historiography. I am utilizing Macleods’ essays regarding ancient Greek rhetoric among the Sophists and Athenian culture. He presents a strong argument that the Melian Dialogue should be read as an example of Greek rhetorical writing. He cites similarities between the text and other ancient Greek sources such as Gorgias’ argument on Helen and certain writings by Plato.
Although my research is going well my original thesis seems to be getting weaker and weaker. I have to find a way to phrase a question to myself that brings out some sort of spark or excitement. It’s quite frustrating to feel so passionately about my subject, but not be able to focus that feeling. The basic gist of what I want to pursue is the intent of Thucydides within the Melian Dialogue. Such as what is he trying to say? And what are the subtleties he uses in which to communicate? Yet, I just can’t manage to find the right wording to these sentiments. In conclusion, it’s been a fantastic week for research, but not so much for drafting my paper.
This week, I found a very informative book to help further my research. Work and Family in Urban China: Women’s Changing Experience Since Mao by Jiping Zuo discuss the state-socialist era from 1949-1980s, which is considered the Mao period, to the 1990s-Present, which is referred to as the Market Reform period. The Reform and Opening Period takes place in the 1980s, and this book discusses how this period had a lasting impact on women’s lives in China, which can still be seen today. It shows different sides of the story, with some arguments being that women were worse off during the Mao period because they were expected to both work and still take on all housework, while others argued that this was not the case and the Mao period allowed for a more gender equality than any other period in Chinese history. Jiping includes interviews from women lived during these period and who argue both cases. It also makes a point to discuss how urban and rural women were effected differently by the Reform and Opening period, which not many other articles and books discuss.
I also found an article titled “Women’s Employment Rights in China: Creating Harmony for Women in the Workforce” by Jamie Burnett. In this article, Burnett explains gender-based discrimination in the workforce in China and the different policies throughout contemporary Chinese history that assisted in gaining women more rights. She also argues about how female migrant workers experienced the most discrimination, which I can refer to when discussing how how rural and urban women had different experiences when it came to this period in my paper.
Another article I will use as a reference for my paper is “‘State Feminism’? Gender and Socialist State Formation in Maoist China” by Zheng Wang. In this article, Zheng discusses the Shanghai branch of the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) and role it had in socialist urban China. It was one of the only organizations to reach both rural and urban women and help to mobilize both. Zheng references a few of interviews from members of this mass organization, which I plan to research more.
Because I have not officially started writing the paper itself, my research plan has been to collect and read through as many sources as possible so that I have enough information to write the paper. This week, my research steps were mostly to search key terms on google scholar, which I never really used until recently and have found it to be very useful. One source that I found that I will certainly be using in my research paper is Dowding of Fighter Command: Victor of the Battle of Britain by historian Vincent Orange. This is a biography on Hugh Dowding, the man behind the air defense system used during the Battle of Britain. This source is clearly very useful because it is a biography on the man who a lot of my research is about and therefore includes a lot of useful background information on Hugh Dowding. More specifically, there are chapters in the book titled “Improving a System” and “Strengthening Fighter Command” that go into specifics about how Dowding led and how his air defense system was improving going into the war. After this in the book there are multiple chapters just on the Battle of Britain itself and what Dowding did during the battle. There is not much to analyze in this source because instead of having biases, the author is basically just stating the facts about Dowding’s life and command. I will surely be using this source in my paper because, as I mentioned, it present much information about Dowding’s system before and during the battle that I am researching in my project.
During my research this week, I have continued to work on my outline and I have started writing my introduction and my thesis paragraphs. In the introduction, I want to provide a basic outline or background information of the Japanese-American internment, more specifically a basic timeline of events of the history of what happened and then introduce my thesis statement.
In addition, yesterday I visited Washington D.C. to view the exhibit, Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II in the National Museum of American History. One of the most significant documents in the exhibit was a reproduction of President’s Franklin Roosevelt’s’ Executive Order 9066 on loan from the National Archives and Records Administration.
Viewing these objects gave me a different perspective into the past and provided additional insight to the daily camp life, items such as, marriage certificates, death certificates, birth certificates, baseball gloves, to arts and crafts illustrated that life carried on within these internment camps.
This exhibit also provided me with how terminology has changed throughout the years. In the beginning of the semester I decided on the interment topic but wanted to incorporate how or why terminology hasn’t changed but I realized now it has. One term has remained the same, why has the term internment camps not changed to concentration camps? This exhibit was a unique and effective way of learning about Japanese-American internment, a welcome change from the past few weeks of eye-burning reading and researching. I am searching for a way to incorporate this trip into my research paper. I provided some photos of my trip at the end of this post.
Finally, after Wednesday’s class in the Special Collections Research Center, I attempted to locate something that would pertain to my subject in the archives, so I can fully experience the procedure of utilizing the archives. I found Charles R. Allen’s Concentration Camps, U.S.A. book and I requested to view in the reading room, which I plan to view sometime next week.
This week I was sick for most of the time I am typically able to set aside for research, so I was not able to accomplish as much as I would have liked. That said, I did stumble upon an interesting angle for at least a portion of my final paper.
I found Theatre, Society and the Nation: Staging American Identities, a 2002 book published by Cambridge University Press which contains a chapter titled “Federalist and Democratic Republican theatre: partisan drama in nationalist trappings.” The chapter discusses how both the Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties utilized stage productions as a method of furthering their agendas; by popularizing their ideologies. From here I found several other articles which support the notion that the parties sought to achieve dominance by both appealing to and attempting to shape public sentiment.
Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War is a 2005 book published by the University of Virginia Press which contains sections of interest, especially its chapter titled “Legitimacy, Localism, and the First Party System,” which I found in the references of another article.
“The Twelfth Amendment and the First American Party System,” an article published in a 1973 volume of The Historian offers helpful insight into the system which solidified the party system in the United States.
“If I had it in his hand-writing I would burn it”: Federalists and the authorship controversy over George Washington’s farewell address, 1808-1859” is a 2014 article from the Journal of the Early Republic. It explores a long-standing controversy over the true authorship of George Washington’s Farewell Address.
All of this culminates in what I might describe as the potential reality that the parties used Washington’s 1793 Neutrality Proclamation as a scapegoat, a tool for furthering their own advancements.
After lots of indecisiveness, I am happy to say that I am finally approaching a solid topic for my research paper. I did some extensive research this week for my new angle, which considers the role of Fascism and sport in Italy. Mussolini intertwined sport with his Fascist society, therefore aligning soccer, rugby, plane racing, and skiing with his Fascist ideals riddled with hate. I want to investigate Italy’s problem with racism and antisemitism in sport today, and make the case that the country has not successfully acknowledged its Fascist past.
The past week was mainly spent researching newspaper articles from today, from sources such as the Gazzetta Dello Sport, locating cases of racism in soccer. I also found some intriguing journal articles on EBSCO Host regarding how Mussolini used sport as a powerful form of propaganda. One particularly fruitful one was from Penn’s repository, titled “The Power of Image in the Age of Mussolini.” I’m very excited about this upcoming week’s class and the individual meeting, because I finally feel as if I have something of substance to report.
The best part of this paper topic is that it will still incorporate the idea of the obelisk of Mussolini, so all of my previous research was not necessarily wasted. This obelisk is still standing today, without acknowledgement from the Italian government, allowing for free interpretations of the monument. What Italy needs is an administrative body that acknowledges Italy’s Fascist past while stating that they wish to move past it. Sadly, the current government seems to be moving backwards instead of forwards, so I think that this case study will be intriguing.
This week I was able truly solidify my research question through the use of peer-review. The student who happened to review my project proposal suggested an approach that led to me having a well rounded and solidified question. My peer-reviewer suggested to me that I should make a more concrete choice regarding one side outweighing the other in benefit. I felt that this may have been a difficult thing to do because there are such strong, and valid, arguments on both sides of the dilemma. Due to the strong arguments for and against the implementation of the Interstate Highway System I was initially shying away from making a sided argument but then I realized the paper wouldn’t be nearly as strong without taking a side.
Very soon after I began to figure which side of the argument I felt was best warranted I was able to make my choice. I chose to follow a thesis statement that goes as follows: The U.S. economy of the 20th century can be linked to the development of large-scale infrastructure and public works projects like the Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. By analyzing data from the latter half to the century it becomes clear that the economic development brought about by the development and implementation of these infrastructure projects far outweigh the costs. I feel as though this is of sound course of action for the paper and I’m satisfied with where my argument is taking me.
I also initially wanted to choose two or three towns/cities to investigate but instead I think I’m going to focus on cities in general and rural towns in general. I’m doing this due to a lack in available resources on the topic. If I were to try and make an argument from the point of view of on city and one town I would loose the consensus that Americans have generally come to accept.
I think the developments of this week were large steps in the direction of completing this paper. Thanks to the peer-reviewed project proposal I have refined to bettered my argument significantly.