Reading: “Film and Television: The moving Image”, Jeffery Richards

April 6, 2013 § 12 Comments

For historians, the study of the feature film became inescapable as from World War I until the late 1950s cinema-going was the principle leisure activity of the masses…” ~Jeffery Richards

This week’s reading comes from Sarah Barber and Corinna Peniston Bird’s, “History Beyond the Text”. Piggy-backing off of the importance of Material Resources and Culture, we move into Visual Resources. In his piece, Richards discusses much about the history and development of film and art as an emerging historical piece, what were some ways that historians have used and learned from film?



My Take on Historical Research

January 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

J.R.R Tolkien, a famous author, poet and professor once said, 

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

Just like setting out to find your lost watch and finding the keys to a car instead, research is an unpredictable and sometimes, misleading journey. It has the potential to unlock new doors to our past and present society, to set up the ground for new theories and ideas. Yet, just like finding the car keys are not the same as finding your watch, one might set out to discover why race relations in America came to a boiling point in the 20th century, and come out with a report on race riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma from 1901-1925. Research is not always finding what you set out for, but instead, it’s the art of learning what can be found from the materials present. The tricky game of what’s best and possible to prove therefore makes research more than just an activity; it makes research a ‘lifestyle’.

Now, to be honest, Tolkien may have been a little cryptic in his message, but, never the less, his words were true. Research is a daily practice, something that most students have a greater chance to experience day by day than any other population in the United States. We have access to some of the most abundant libraries and databases in the world, yet, our minds flounder how to successfully use them.

The Historical Research DeCal targets just that mindset, it cultivates the natural desire to know more and more about something while providing students with the necessary tools to quench that ever-present thirst. I walked out of this DeCal understanding not only the value of research, but excited to engage in the process of delving deeper into more of my own questions and interest. One of the most effective measures within this DeCal is the absence of a research paper do at the end of the semester, instead of being bogged down with the analysis of all my sources, I had the opportunity to actually engage with the photos, book, articles and significance.

Research, whether it be with the sciences of the humanities, holds the key to knowing more about what makes our world what it is today. And being guided through our many resources on campus, from the Media Resource center to the Regional Office of Oral Histories, there is a place of research for everyone.

“Art of Darkness”- False Advertisement and Culture of British Caribbean Slaves

November 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Although I was not able to make it into the Media Resource Center this week, I was able to find a media resource that I believe will be very beneficial for my project.

As we all already know, my research centers on Britain’s hand in the advancement and ultimately end of the Atlantic Slave trade, targeting what role Britain actually played in the preservation in slavery has been my main agenda, however, the culture that it created and fostered fell off my radar. This film not only discusses race and culture in the Caribbean British Isles, but it unlocks the door of advertisement and depictions in the British mainland. This film observes the false view depicted of slavery in the Caribbean’s. I look forward to delving into this film.


Priscilla’s- The UFC in the 1950’s

October 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

For our assignment this week, I choose to look further into Pricilla’s topic of the United Fruit Company in Guatemala in the 1950s. First, I had to search back through our previous post and look for her original introduction. It was here that I realized the actual use of tagging our post. Anyways, I found Priscilla’s post and decided to center on the UFC in Guatemala in 1954. This was the year that there was a Coup of the Guatemala government.

For starters, I decided to go outside of the usual avenues that we have been using to find resources, I decided to use Google Scholar. I began by searching “Guatemalan Coup in 1954 and the UFC” and I found a source about CIA involvement in the coup.  <;

After this, then I search simply for “UFC in Guatemala in 1954 which provided me with a new document about US intervention in Guatemala. This included actions and efforts by the UFC during this period. The article was entitled, “Domestic Institutional Change and Foreign Policy: A Comparative Study of U.S. Intervention in Guatemala and Nicaragua” and the link is, <;

Finally, I plugged in “UFC evolution of bananas in the 1950s”and that is when I found the book, “A History of Organized Labor in Panama and Central America”. This book talks about the UFC being one of the main functioning influences in some organized efforts, (quite possibly the coup effort).

I hope these help further in your search Priscilla.


Online News Database- Learning how to look for news!

October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

This week I searched online through an archive of old British newspapers and publications in the 17th through 19th century. Through this time, I encountered multiple obstacles, each presenting a challenge of its own. In the end, I was able to find a small column of a newspaper that referred to slavery, and more specifically the Slave Trade Act fo 1807.

My research this week has been filled with stress and work. When I first got on the database, I went straight to the portion labeled 17th and 18th century British Library Newspapers and began plugging in key words right away. Little did I know, and quickly came to understand, when searching for certain objects in newspapers, you can not simply type in any key word. Instead, you have to truly know what you are looking for. So in my case, I began with typing slavery into the keyword search and I got a whole jumble of multiple news entries that had the word slavery. Most of these, as you can imagine, did not relate to the British involvement in the slave trade, rather, they all condemned the idea of this horrible institution and found it repulsing. After realizing that this key word search would not be useful, I tried plugging in anti-slave trade, this still did not work well. For a second, I felt as though I was at a standstill, and then I realized I could instead search a more specific key word. So, after some further research, I began to look for the Slave Trade Act of 1807. This gave me the results I needed.

Doing this project/homework, I realized the necessity of background knowledge  sometimes more than general background, but detailed knowledge, when doing looking for word specific articles, like a newspaper.

Britain’s Hand in New World Slavery- A look at a piece in the “English Historical Review”

September 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I started off searching this week  for documents that related to the middle passage in some form. I first searched OskiCat and Melvyl with the keyword ‘middle passage’. To my surprise, some relatively good articles and books showed up, a few of which had slight leanings to the European involvement in the Atlantic Slave trade. So after scanning through the first five pages of results, I plugged in the keyword search ‘Slavery in the British Leeward Islands’, lo and behold, this gave me just the work I was looking for.  
This week I was able to find an article that was essentially a review of a previous work, titled “Review of Slave Society in the British Leeward Islands at the End of the Eighteenth Century”, this short article outlined what a Professor Goveia had thoroughly discussed in her book. The glimmering gold in this article was its last lines, referencing the necessity for British parliament to determine if slavery would continue in the colonies, and if they could be persuaded to care. This is exactly the path I was hoping to go, and this article just seemed to light a candle down my path. Now I’m searching for further evidence to support my initial question, was it up to Britain to stop slavery in the colonies, before it became the U.S.?

Jonathan Scott II- The Catalogue

September 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

After our meeting this past week, I was really able to utilize Mevyl and OskiCat more than I had thought before. Our practice on finding keywords to search for material on our topic is was opened me to a world of understanding what I really wanted to research.

I first looked into the Atlantic slave trade, trying to find material to dissect the middle passage. What exactly happened on the ship, and how did it shape how Africans ultimately became slaves and carried that identity. But as I looked for work on the middle passage, although books came up, the books that I needed for the things that I was looking for, did not. First roadblock.

So after a little further perusing, I began to look into European-American relations in this world phenomenon. And that opened up many new ideas and opportunities. I began to realize that slavery existed in British colonies before the United States was actually founded. It sparked a new question in my mind.

So falling into this better understood idea, I began to search for British influence in the slave trade, and then how slavery played a role in their views of the United States as it was a just forming nation in the 17th century. European, specifically British ideals and notions about slavery, when attempting to downplay the United States is important to recognize the forms in which European nations so quickly turned against slavery, and to show how slavery changed forms, from when it was in European control. To look more into this, I checked out a book by James K Rowley, entitled,London, metropolis of the slave trade”. Along with this book, I am hoping to check out a book by Herbert S. Klein, entitled, “The Atlantic Slave Trade”. I am hoping that these books will give me greater understanding of what was happening in this transition age of slavery, and even how it began to evolve.