This week was another one filled with positives and negatives, but the negatives were fewer and further between compared to previous weeks. I finally resolved something on Thursday that I have been worried about for weeks now: how I am going to meet with Dr. Nepa. I am happy to report that I will meet with him tomorrow morning at 11 am. This is a significant development because as I said in class, I am not confident in my ability to find primary sources without his help. If all goes well, the meeting should cover how he conducted his research for his article “Cemeteries,” which I mentioned in a few previous entries, and then obtain his thoughts on cemetery removal. I plan to send him my secondary sources obtained to this point and the progress of my paper up to that point. After the meeting, I will send the Historical Society a request for material from their Woodlands Cemetery Company Papers. Exactly which boxes and catalogs I will request is not determined at this time. It is my hope that the meeting with Dr. Nepa will clear up the discrepancies between myself and the primary sources needed to complete the project. I am open to any follow-ups as well. In other news, it was refreshing to once again review someone else’s work. I felt that I provided the feedback Stephen White needed to complete his next draft. His paper, in my opinion, needs a clear road map to explain his intentions. His lack of information on his main topic until page six confused me, but a road map should resolve this issue. It also felt good to be back at Special Collections on Monday and Friday after a two-week absence. The two books that are held there have been the two best secondary sources I have to this point.
Another meeting I will have in the coming week will be with Dr. Lowe. This was something she had suggested before the break but sadly never materialized. One aspect she pointed out to me was that my paper has no clear timeline and was not in chronological order. This means that I am orienting my paper to fit my argument instead of providing a timeline for the reader. Getting this project re-oriented will be challenging because it is not a task I have undertaken in quite sometime. At the same time, it should be a simpler fix once my timeline is squared away and I have reliable primary sources. Dr. Lowe also provided me with a simpler way to cite my sources through Word’s insert footnote function. This was a trick no one had shown me before, and it will prevent me from tediously citing them as I had done previously. I would like to thank her for this and also suggesting contacts for help with my Web Mapping course. This is another course which takes up significant time for me and which I have struggled all semester. It has been one of my greatest obstacles thus far in completing this project. It has been a blessing to see Dr. Lowe wanting us all to succeed in all of our endeavors this semester. In the coming week, with help from my two planned meetings, I would like to obtain the primary sources needed and get as far along in my next mini-draft as possible. Unfortunately I do not think I can get to 5000 words before the next class. That said, I will come prepared with whatever I have prepared for that next class.
During my research this week I found two new articles, Incarcerated Sport: Nisei Women’s Softball and Athletics during Japanese American Internment (2000) and Extraordinary Circumstances ,Exceptional Practices: Music in Japanese American Concentration Camps (2005). Incarcerated Sport has similar primary and secondary sources that I have utilized throughout my research paper so far, is this positive or negative? In addition, I am unsure how many footnotes I should incorporate, is 20 too little, or 50 too much? How many is too many on each page? Also, I mentioned in class my organization is terrible and this weekend I spent some time cleaning up my “working” bibliography, with hopes that it will allow a more fluid approach as I come close to the home stretch
Wednesday’s class was extremely informative, both classmates were through and critical as they both addressed a handful of issues I should work on, such as, word choice, maintaining the past tense while writing and provide a road map. In addition, I attempted to reorganize my notes into different folders, although I haven’t completed it, I find it has been easier to locate information that I need (I wish I started doing this in the beginning). I am currently working on completing my 5000 words for our next meeting and updating my introductory paragraphs an these statement section. Finally, I have started the last section of my paper dealing with recreation, I am having a difficult time starting off because there is a lot to write about, I think when I narrow down exactly which activities I will focus on, that will provide me with an easier time completing the last section.
This week I wrote a 2,500-word section of my paper’s initial draft. The process proved to be more of a struggle than I had been anticipating prior to sitting down and writing. This might also have been due to the time-off I took from doing schoolwork during last week’s spring break. Although I was initially able to crank out a hefty chunk of the expected 2,500 word-count, I hit a bit of a roadblock about 1,500 words in. In the end, I ended up with a section which totaled 2,712 words. In retrospect, this roadblock was mostly due to me not wanting to utilize any secondary sources in the sections I was writing, because the syllabus had specified that both this, and the next assignments were to be focused on the use of primary sources. I plan on using secondary sources throughout my next section to prevent running into this issue for next week’s assignment.
On the side of the ongoing research I have been conducting, I spent much of this week reviewing my notes on the lengthy Pacificus and Helvitius essays and selecting which sections to quote in my paper. As the week winds down, I have also been doing the same for some of my secondary sources. Because my time is split between school and work, my writing process has had to adapt. In the past, I was able to set aside blocks of time for writing, but my schedule this semester has not afforded me such opportunities. Instead I have been writing in bits and pieces: two paragraphs on a section of receipt paper, a page on the reverse of a handout from my German class, etc. Although this has proven challenging, I have found that the shake-up in process has helped keep my ideas feeling fresh.
My next research strategy was to look at different secondary sources to get a read on what Hugh Dowding deserves credit for and what is slightly overblown in his contribution to British defense in the Battle of Britain. John Ferris wrote in The Journal of Military History that a lot of what Britain did in the Battle of Britain was already set in place a long time before. Ferris believes that it is a misconception that the air defense system of the RAF came out of nowhere and gives Fighting Area Headquarters (FAHQ) a lot of credit for what they were able to achieve in air defense during the First World War. He states that Britain’s air defense was already the most advanced at that time and simply built off what was already in place. Although he does admit that FAHQ would not have won the Battle of Britain, he says that they did what they had to do in the lead up to what eventually became radar. Another source I discovered is from the journal History in which an entry written by Niall Mackay and Christopher Price argues in favor of Dowding on the Big Wing controversy, which is still hotly debated. This is one of the things that led to Dowding leaving his position after the war, as many RAF advisors believed in the Big Wing strategy of meeting their opponents in large aerial battles whereas Dowding used a more conservative approach that aimed toward a war of attrition. Mackay and Price back my stance on Dowding as a hero who went against what many thought and was still successful in his strategy. They provide evidence as to why Dowding’s approach was more successful, as, not surprisingly, the use of more forces in conflicts led to more losses.
This research update is based upon the search for more primary sources, as they can be harder to find and I need more on Hugh Dowding and his air defense system. One of the sources I have found is from 1983 when Chief of the Air Staff Keith Williamson alongside the man he replaced in this position, Michael Beetham, addressed a council on air defense. Before the following proceedings occurred, which involved questions for Williamson, he gave a speech on the topic and drew from different major chapters of air defense throughout the years. He mentions the Battle of Britain and how important radar was several times, going as far as to say that Britain would not have been victorious without it. In closing, Beetham says that he believes that air defense really came to the forefront with the Battle of Britain which is actually contrary to what one of my secondary sources says so I will have to further look into that. I have this as a primary source because although it is from the 1980s, both men were serving when the Battle of Britain occurred. I also tried to figure out the British National Archives and was able to come across a note from 1941 that summarized Dowding’s own report on the battle. Because it was Dowding’s report I am sure that it is biased but nonetheless it is quite interesting and the note on his report specifically says that his air defense system was the most advanced ever and therefore was the decisive factor in the battle.
Over the last week I have continued reading over primary statistics and documents provided by the Department of Transportation and the American Society of Civil Engineers. I have chosen to focus on sources from these two organizations with the goal of understanding and linking the politics as well as the planning, actual development, and implementation. I think that this approach will allow me to develop a good portion of the second argument that I plan to make in my paper. In this argument I will try to infer that pressure by political and military agencies gave engineers the ability to leave out the interests of lower class Americans.
I was hoping find some sources from U.S. military branches regarding the rushed development of the Interstate Highway System in reaction to the beginning of the Cold War but this has proven to be a bit difficult when trying to access materials. I have found that more recent military documents have some sort of classifications. I have been able to find some very reliable military history databases through the TULibrary website and am trying the decipher what exactly to include with regards to documents.
I have also been able to delve into Federal Highway Administration documents that have proven extremely helpful in showing the demographics of highway building, in-turn developing the third claim that I will be taking on in this essay. With this claim I will be able to show that the elected Federal officials in charge of developing the IHS did not have the interest of lower income Americans in their implementation. Although there was significant protest, it was unheard from the majority of politicians at the time. I was also be looking to find accounts of politicians defending the rights of said lower income Americans.
During my research this week, I continued to work on the assignment for Wednesday class. I have roughly completed 1500 words, so far and the focus on this section of the paper has leaned towards daily life in internment camps and providing information that supports the first part of my thesis, which is that terminology should remain the same, as internment camps not concentration camps. I have transitioned into the significance of sports and recreation (baseball and arts), to begin the support the second part of my thesis.
In addition, I have reviewed several new resources. Daniel L. Dustin article “Baseball saved us”:
Recreation as refuge in a world war ii Japanese American prison camp provided
the different roles of sports and recreation in the prisoner’s lives at
Manzanar camp, such as how these two provided some normalcy and stability.
After reading Citizen 13660, I came across a similar book
with illustrations that provided insight to the daily life within these
internment camps. Camp II Block 211: Daily life in an Internment Camp by Jap
Matsuoka. I also started reading different interviews in the oral history
project, Regenerations: Rebuilding Japanese American Families Communities and Civil
Rights in the Resettlement Era. These interviews also provided additional
insight into the daily lives of internment prisoners. Finally, I checked out
Farewell to Manzanar, it is the true story of a families survival in these
camps, that has be compared to the Diary of Anne Frank.
This week was presented with good news and some not so good news. It started on a very good note, as I worked very hard to complete the outline and two paragraphs on Sunday night, a deadline that I missed back on February 27th. It was a grueling process, but now I believe my paper has the flow it had not before. The guide that Dr. Lowe posted for us was very helpful as well. I learned through completing it that my paper does not need to have the same structure in every section. What I mean by this is that not every research concept equates to one paragraph, but some can. It really depends on where in the paper you refer to and is subject to change as anything else. That will surely be a positive aspect going forward. On Friday, I completed a substantial chunk of the upcoming 2500-word draft. I am currently at 1218 words as of the time of this blog post’s submission. That word count could definitely be lower, and it feels good to be this far along with a few days before submission. It is a point I did not reach before the last assignment, and it is a sigh of relief that it has happened.
I wrote in the last entry that this week would be considered a working vacation. For this class, it was to an extent. The biggest disappointment was not reaching out to Dr. Nepa and talking about my paper. That will be priority #1 before my next update. I fully understand that time is of the essence, and now that Spring Break is in the review mirror that will become even more of a factor. His expertise will certainly be appreciated and will kick my project into higher gear. That said, I am not panicking about this at all. We are at a point in which there is still time, but there is just less of it than before. I will not fully be confident in my sources until I meet with him, but that does not mean I failed to track down any material. My easiest class, Urban Geography, has helped me complete this project more than I ever anticipated. Recently I saw a PowerPoint which contained a slide about redlining. I believe this to be an underappreciated piece to my cemetery removal equation. Both University City and North Philadelphia were red-lined; I was so intrigued by this that I included it in my outline. I plan to ask my professor how she obtained the map so I could use it as a primary source. On Friday I ran into a high school friend who works at the Historical Society. She told me a little bit more about their cemetery collection and the hours that it is open. She was not an expert but any information is greatly appreciated. For the coming week, I plan to finish the 2500 word draft and reach out to more contacts. Once that happens I believe I will be able to move along further.
This week, I worked on my outline and first two paragraphs, as well as found a few more sources I plan to use for my final paper. Doing the outline helped me to find any missing holes in my research, which I have been working on filling. I have done more research and found more sources to build my section on the Mao and Post-Mao period to show the differences between the two and how women’s rights were affected after the Post-Mao era. In the Mao period, I have highlighted the many rights women received and how these rights were written into the Chinese Communist Constitution. Both my peer-review partners suggested providing more background on the Mao and Post-Mao, because not many people know too much about them. Therefore, I have been working on editing and providing more information on these two periods and the differences between them. Some of the sources I have found previously, such as “Personal Voices,” have good information on both periods, so I plan to use that as a source for this section, as well as a few others I have found after I began editing the section. The outline also helped because it helped me form my main arguments and determine any information I still need to research. For example, I am still working on researching the women’s organizations during this period to show the impact that they had.
I was happy with the introduction I wrote for the Wednesday assignment and am looking forward to fleshing out the section. This week I intend on writing a line by line commentary of the Melian Dialogue. This will include an amalgam of three translations by Hobbes, Crawley, and Hornblower with pertinent notes about the differences and similarities and their possible meanings. In a sense this section will write itself as it is less original thought and more a combination of contemporary works. However this section will certainly be a lengthy one as I intend on putting down the entire dialogue. I thought a lot about whether or not the paper would be improved by including the full dialogue. On one end it allows for readers to understand the topic I am discussing in full. On the other it will make for a slightly dry section if readers are more interested in a summary rather than the raw text. In the end I believe it will benefit the paper in its ability to familiarize new readers, and point out interesting differences for more informed scholars.
As far as research goes most of it is in the bag already, but I will make an effort to find more contemporary sources as well. I have no secondary sources written past 2008, which is certainly a flaw in my bibliography. If I get through the introductory section easy enough I plan on rewriting my historiography which will create a better landscape of Thucydides throughout history.