Blog Post #10- Perspective

I think time will change our stories in many ways. Time changes our stories because the world is constantly changing and that will be reflected in our histories. Events are always happening and monumental changes are occurring on a daily basis. We are under a new presidency and the vice president we just gained breaks many barriers and it is unprecedented. The country is quite divided now and it is interesting to see how stories will change and what will unfold under this new administration. If I am revisiting my project in the future, I expect many things to change. We gain new knowledge and innovation as time passes so that will affect history.  For example, with the current pandemic and finding a vaccine, revisiting my project in the future, the story that I talked about would have changed. By that time, there hopefully would have already been a vaccine that came out. This changes the story because if people received the vaccine and are cured, we are no longer experiencing those things I mentioned in my project. Burials will not be administered the way they were during the pandemic. Families will be able to say goodbye to their loved ones without so many restrictions and limitations. They can grieve properly and this changes the story that I once wrote about. Also, the people telling these stories change over time. Different people have different perspectives and their past and current experiences influence how they tell the story. This will alter how the story is ultimately told. There will be many new perspectives gained and the course of history will change. In 2024, the vaccine would have come out by now and hopefully, we are no longer dealing with the virus the same way we are now. Hopefully, we are outside enjoying life because life as we define it has changed due to the virus. With the burial practices, we have significantly more freedom. Although a lot has changed at this point, I do not think the virus will completely have gone away. In 2050, I believe we no longer have to worry or think about the virus and it would be completely gone by then. We can go back to how life used to be and have a sense of normalcy. We likely would have kids by this point, maybe even grandkids and we can tell them about what we personally experienced and what was happening at the time. There will probably be textbooks in schools about this point in time and many sources that people can look at. In 2120, all of us will probably be dead and the new generations will have access and much more new information about how we dealt with the pandemic and they can learn from that in case they experience the same thing.

Blog Post #9 – Subjectivity and Elections

One Sunday morning during the pandemic I was at church and I took a picture of my friend in her new outfit. Yes, she looked great but if you look at the background which displayed the church, I noticed there were only around 5-10 people around. This was a church with crowds of people coming every week but now it feels almost deserted. Looking back at that point, later on, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the impact of the pandemic on religious services. Churches were going online, communions and other services were not being done, funerals were not the same, and things were just very different. What drove me to the specific topic choice of burials was I saw many pictures about how burials were being administered all over the world and I thought how much the world currently has changed and that this is how we say our final goodbyes to our loved ones. Also, several people that my family knew were passing away due to the virus and they were not getting proper burials. Since social distancing has to be carried out, many people were not able to go to the burials of their loved ones and give proper condolences. They were not given the opportunity to grieve how they wanted to. Burials are something so historically sacred and important for getting closure and having that taken away affects so many people. My religion has affected my topic choice. I am Christian and I narrowed the topic to Christian burials rather than burials in general. Since I know how burials work in my religion and have been to many funerals, I can talk about how they are traditionally administered and what is different now. This might affect my analysis of history because I am bringing in my own experiences and what I am used to. It might also be hard to stay objective because of these experiences.

Blog Post #8- Memory

What I remember from our class at the beginning of the semester is that we had classes in person at first for the first couple of classes. I remember that I registered late I believe, so I did not come to the first class where everyone introduced themselves. I remember the professor asking me what my name was at the beginning of class and I introduced myself. During class, we made a sort of like a web where I believe we discussed what we believe history is and what comes to mind when we think of “history”. There were various interpretations and it was nice to see the different perspectives. At the end of class, I remember talking to the professor and saying what my major was. But then after the first week, I remember classes being switched to online because of the rise in the virus on campus. I remember reading an article that said there were eventually around 200 cases. Once classes became virtual, I personally remember having a hard time with the zoom classes due to privacy reasons. I was just weirdly anxious about them in general. It was difficult at first but I gradually got used to the flow of things. I remember for this class we had to create our first blog posts like the layout and everything. I do not remember much from the first day of classes and my memory is generally not good. I do remember there being a lot of confusion for me whether I personally wanted online classes or in-person classes because I do much better in in-person classes. Although I did not like the idea at first, things are good now. I also remember when I was doing the in-person classes, many people were not practicing social distancing and being safe on campus which was alarming. There should have been more cautious measures. Much of what happened is a blur but this is what I do remember.

Blog Post 7 – What do we owe our historical subjects?

I consider myself a historical subject. In the future, historians may talk about me in their work if I fit the subject of their research. If I were the historical subject of a project, the considerations I would want a historian to take when writing the history of my life is to be respectful of my story and do an accurate representation of my life as best they can. This means that they have to do their research and analyze the important events of my life properly. I would want them to keep certain things private such as sensitive information that I would not want revealed to the world. I think that regardless if the historical subject is alive or deceased, we owe our subjects a high level of respect. Even though these subjects can not do anything like sue you for anything they should still be respected because after all you are writing about them so they have some contribution to history. Issues of privacy affect historical research because there is information that the subjects want to keep secretive and so the historians struggle between portraying an accurate representation of people and events that happened and respecting peoples privacy. This ultimately results in a missing part of history which Tucker discussed about in her article. I believe many people struggle with what she had struggled with wanting to tell the full story and being respectful to the people she spoke to and was doing research on. She had to respect the subjects but she also had to respect the field of history. It is also important to consider the family and generations that come from the historical subject. They do not want to remember their family/ancestors in a bad light and they could be treated differently because of the subjects actions. To be a historical subject, you have to have had some kind of impact on history regardless of how big or small. You can do something crazy like find the cure for covid-19 or have written about your experiences as a student in a diary during the pandemic which historians can reflect on and talk about.

Midterm-Final Project Proposals

Research Question: In comparison to how burials have regularly been conducted in Christian history, how has the way these burials are administered and have been experienced changed due to the current pandemic ?

Project Description: As we know, the Coronavirus has disrupted many aspects of life, from everyday things to very important events that take place. Religion has definitely been affected. Even the way people grieve and conduct burials have changed. Burials are a very important part of religious practices and to not have these sacred rituals done properly can affect people emotionally and mentally. Through this project I want to learn the specifics and how exactly the pandemic has changed the way people say farewell to their loved ones. I would also like to look at Christian religion specifically and what was accepted and done traditionally during burials, for example, the way people gather around the body and embrace it and kiss it as a last goodbye. They can no longer do those things due to social gathering restrictions and social distancing. I want to learn more about other traditions and parts of Christian burials that can no longer be done due to the pandemic and how it has affected people. My argument is that the way burials are administered and experienced have significantly changed in comparison to what is usually done as part of the faith.

Format: Historical Op-ed

Secondary Sources

1. Kotak, Yesha. “Allow Burials of Christian Covid Patients’ Bodies in All Cemeteries: Mumbai Civic Corporation.” Hindustan Times, 12 June 2020, www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/allow-burials-of-christian-covid-patients-bodies-in-all-cemeteries-bmc/story-c8UD1vJ7p4OzfYraUWpeoO.html 

The first source I have is an article from a famous news source in India. It talks about how there is no space to bury bodies of Christian patients who have Covid because many people are against doing so. It talks about Christians having to be cremated even though it does not align with their religious beliefs and burying is what has to be done.  It also explains what is traditionally done in comparison to what is done now which gives more insight into my research question of how burials are being administered and experienced now in comparison to traditionally accepted ways. It talks about the change in guidelines put in place by authority that have to be followed.

2. Felter, Claire, and Lindsay Maizland. “The Coronavirus Funeral: How the World Grieves in a Pandemic.” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, 19 May 2020, www.cfr.org/article/coronavirus-funeral-how-world-has-learned-grieve-pandemic 

This source explains how globally people grieve at funerals and how burials are carried out now. This will show how people have to say our last goodbyes. Countries have limited how many people can socially gather and have contact with the dead body of a covid patient. Different countries and how they grieve now are shown which is helpful in understanding the pandemic and their religious practices. Even if the person did not have covid but passed away during the pandemic, these rules have to be followed. This will help me understand what is currently happening and how things are being done in different places in opposition to what was done in the past.

Primary Sources

1. Revised Standard Version (RSV) – Version Information – BibleGateway.com. Accessed October 13, 2020. https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Revised-Standard-Version-RSV-Bible/ 

 Most Christian religious practices, rituals, and services all originate and come from the Bible. They display and commemorate the major events and are the basis of Christianity. The Bible talks about burial services in numerous verses and its importance is seen throughout the various books such as 1 Kings, Jeremiah 14:16, and St. Matthew. The Bible in its vastness is related to my project because it talks about how burials should traditionally be held and things like who should be there and how the body is handled/ treated is also mentioned. This relates to my research question because this traditional way of doing things and how people have been doing it over centuries is different than what we are seeing now with the characteristics of burials. It allows me to compare this historically sacred, respected, and accepted way of doing things to how things have to be done now due to the current circumstance of the pandemic. My argument is that burial services have changed from what was done in history and the Bible displays this history and what was done. Crowds and families gather over the dead body of loved ones which can no longer be done the same way due to social distancing/quarantine rules.

2. Williams, David. A Liturgy on the Principles of the Christian Religion With Services for Baptism ; the Lord’s Supper ; Visitation of the Sick ; Burial of the Dead ; Prayers for a Family ; and a Collection of Psalms. London: Printed for G. Kearsly, 1774. 

This primary source from 1774 also talks about how burials of the dead are typically done and should be done in Christianity. It talks about how the dead should be mourned and what people should be feeling as they are grieving and what they should do. It talks alot about the specific prayers that have to be administered. This is significant to my research and is related to my argument because my argument is that burial services have changed from what was done in history and in this shows that. There can no longer be these long prayers and the body can not be handled the way it was traditionally due to the virus spreading

3. Frayer, Lauren, Daniel Estrin, and Jane Arraf. “Coronavirus Is Changing The Rituals Of Death For Many Religions,” April 7, 2020. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/04/07/828317535/coronavirus-is-changing-the-rituals-of-death-for-many-religions 

This primary source is a podcast giving first-hand information about how different countries are dealing with the coronavirus in relation to religious practices, mainly burials. It talks about social distancing and certain activities that you have to avoid during religious burials. It mentions the different guidelines the country has laid out in terms of burials and gatherings.What can be conducted and what can not be conducted is mentioned. This source is relevant and helps me craft my argument because it talks about how different things are now in terms of burials. Many sacred activities in Christian burials can not be followed through and administered and it talks about that in the podcast. The people that are in the podcast are from NPR and they live in these countries so they see,hear, and experience things firsthand. 

Blog Post #6- Creating a Narrative

During the time that World War 1 was happening, a new influenza appeared. The war played a big role when it came to the spread of the virus and how severe it was. The conditions in the military such as overcrowding and troops moving around contributed to the spread of the virus. There were a large number of troops on these bases so many people got the virus and it spread globally. There was an overwhelming amount of casualties. There were more soldiers who died from the flu than by their war enemies.

There was even a shortage of nurses because they were used for the military and volunteers were used to help the ill. There was also a program where you can become a practical nurse in a very short amount of time and it was created due to the shortage of nurses which was seen in the pandemic. During the time of the pandemic, there were also hygiene education propaganda posters. There were posters discouraging things like spitting on the ground.

 One specific poster said “Halt the epidemic! Stop Spitting- everybody” and it shows a devil rising forming from the saliva on the ground. This basically means that they are somewhat attributing the spread of the virus to people spitting even though there’s more to it than that. I thought it was interesting how the man looks so calm and seemingly unbothered by this devil coming from the spit next to him.

 It could possibly show that people can be selfish and how they should be more considerate about the spread of the virus. There were also ways to stay healthy and well by doctors during this time which also mentioned spitting and spreading germs in general which should stop. The Spanish Flu affected both the military and civilians and ended up taking millions of lives due to not being as advanced yet with medicine and not being able to find a cure.

Blog Post #5- Primary Sources

https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid19-philadelphia-pennsylvania-new-jersey-christianity-judaism-sunday-worship-20200315.html

The first source I have is an article from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Many people use the Inquirer for their news.  This article talks specifically about Sunday Services and how it has changed and the way people worship during the pandemic. Churches with around 200 people in their morning services have has 17 during the coronavirus. The article gives examples of various churches in the Philadelphia area experiencing these similar changes.  Although similar, different churches are administering things differently. For example, one church was mentioned which did drive-thru Communion. Churches have suspended their services and do virtual meetings and even the way their Holy communions are conducted and the way they give offerings are different now. It helps me answer my research question because it displays how religious services have been done as a result of the pandemic and how it has changed. Possibly a complication that comes from this source is a limitation of focusing just on the Philadelphia area when the pandemic is happening on a global scale and affecting Sunday services everywhere.

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/04/07/828317535/coronavirus-is-changing-the-rituals-of-death-for-many-religions

The second source I have is from npr and there’s a 7 minute listen which seems like a short podcast and an article with the audio.  This source talks about how mourning after death has changed in different parts of the world. There are 3 npr international correspondents. One is from Jerusalem, one from Jordan, and the other from India and they speak on the topic. They talk about the policies regarding burials in the countries and how mourning is different now for different religions like Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and more. It helps me answer my research question because the article focuses on burials and mourning which is related to my topic of how religious services have been affected as a result of Covid-19.  Limitations could be again the geographic factor and that only these 3 countries are focused on.

Research Topic- Burial Services

A body being cremated in New Delhi, India. Xavier Galiana/AFP/Getty Images

This is a picture of a body being cremated in New Delhi during the pandemic. The crematoriums have become significantly overwhelmed and there is no time to do proper burial services for people. I’m interested in learning about how the pandemic has affected long-standing traditions, holy rituals, and beliefs. New Delhi consists of a majority of 80% Hindus. According to Hindu funeral customs, the body is cremated and then dispersed in a sacred location like a body of water such as the Ganges. But these traditions have completely changed for people. They are no longer able to go and do these things due to the virus. Islamic rituals have also been interrupted. The way people mourn, honor, and say goodbye to their dead family members have changed. The lack of proper burial services takes a toll on the mental and spiritual health of believers.The larger historical theme the topic connects with is that it has affected all aspects of people’s lives even sacred things like religion.

Another theme is that the pandemic is not just local or even national. It is something that is global and it affects even the dead. The topic will teach us how widespread the pandemic has become and the way it has affected religion. There were also instances where Catholics in India had to have Hindu cremations done due to the climbing death toll. There has also been a mix up of bodies due to the growing corona deaths in which the Hindu individual received a Muslim burial and vice-versa. The effects of the pandemic which many now consider the “new normal” has created space between people and what they value. But strikingly, what has taken me aback is the large divide and space between people and their faith and what they are now not able to practice, namely burial services.

Introduction Blog

Hello everyone! My name is Christeena Joy and I am a junior year criminal justice major. I decided to take this course because history has always been an interesting topic to me. I have in the past enjoyed looking at different historical sources that we use to interpret our history and give meaning to it. What I hope to get out of this class is a better understanding of how our perception of history and important events have changed over time.

History has countless meanings and to different people it means different things. I believe that history is a lesson. It is something that we can definitely learn from as it teaches us many things that we should and should not repeat again. Looking at history, we can see what has worked in our favor in the past and what has caused major issues. Since history is a lesson that we are still learning from to this day, this means the constant need for reform and change.  I believe history is all about reform as we have experienced major milestones and many will say we still have a long way to go. We look back and see how much change and progression has occurred in our history and the future generations will see the same thing looking back at where we are, as we are still learning, changing, and growing. History is not just about learning facts about the past. It is about understanding why the people in that era did what they did and their perspectives and way of thinking. History is also very diverse. Different countries, regions, and places have a different history and the people in that location have different experiences that shape who, what, and where they are to this day. History is not just history, history is part of the present and the future because it has shaped what we are currently experiencing and what we will continue to experience.