Friday, April 17, 2009

Last Archival Blog

Today when working with my archival project I made a few discoveries in Gordimer’s work. I located the “lost folder” I had been searching for and in it found many ideas to continue with my question, also a couple of smaller questions that will aide me in my research. The folder contained two blue book type of documents both filled to capacity with mini book reviews. These were all the books Gordimer had read during the year of 1938. 

Beside each book she wrote the title, author, and her opinion of the book—which was either Bad, Good, Quite Good, or Very Good. I chose to take a closer look at the books which she titled “Very Good”. A couple of authors were traditionally children’s authors, as she was just 15 years old, but the majority were not. Her favorite book out of all of them was “Gone with the Wind”. She found Scarlett O’Hara’s character to be very captivating. Another favorite was “They seek a country” by an author that appears a few times on her list, Francis Brett Young. This is about a young man who comes over to South Africa from poverty, is forced into imprisonment and falls in love with an African girl. This has a very simlar theme as mnay of Gordimer’s works. 

My original question was, How is Gordimer’s work influenced by other authors? I will continue this question by looking more closely at the possible influences these other authors had on her work, but I now want to know specifically how they informed her interest in Apartheid? As a young white South African woman, why would she be so drawn to social injustice? Seems she was so young to be that passionate.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Phase 4: Hapgood

For my final investigative paper, I have decided to look into Hapgood and her approach to social and class issues in her writings. I would like to focus on the Sacco Vanzetti case, but utilize her shorter writings to emphasize her points and to exemplify her writing styles. Her involvment in politics outside her writings shows her obvious interest in social reform and other issues involving class and immigration topics. Hapgood's writings of the Sacco Vanzetti trial prove to canjole readers into a sypathetic state of mind for the immigrants that have been tried and found guilty of murder. I am undecided on which source I will use as a lens, but I have found outside sources to utilize in attempting to pick apart Hapgood's writings. The three sources I have found so far are from JSTOR and they are; The Legislation of Crime and Delinquency: A Review of Theory, Method, and Research by John Hagan, From "White Slave" to Labor Activist: The Agony and Triumph of a Boston Brahmin Woman in the 1910s by Stephen H. Norwood, and a book review done by Hapgood in the Industrial and Labor Relations Review. I think that all of these writings should provide insight into the social reform issues of the time and Hapgood's own thoughts on other writers divulging her review style and issues she finds relevant and style in which it is presented.

Phase 4: Contagious Disease Acts

For my final paper, I am going to use the pamphlets on the Contagious Diseases Act.

I am going to use the Pall Mall Gazetteand W. T. Stead's Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon (on childhood prostitution). Stead's document was instrumental to the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Act and to the creation of the Criminal Law Amendment Act (raising the age of consent to 16). This is the refernce that Dr. Graban advised would be beneficial for the CDA.

I am going to look at the role of prostitution and how it was viewed fom all standpoints of the authors of each passage. I was going to look at the readings that Dr. Graban suggested and the 3 pamphlets from the contagious disease acts and compare their views on it. I also wanted to bring in Tompkins as a lens because it seems as if this will go well with the CDA topic.

Does this sound like a good idea to anyone else or am I way off? I haven't completely found or done all of my research that I will need to complete the proposal because the description of this final paper is still very unclear for me, so once again if anyone can help that would be awsome!

Phase 4 Haldeman

I want to take the "two mothers of Jane Addams" and many of the letters to Sarah Haldeman and put them into a conversation about how the industrial education is used more for the domestication of women than for the bettering of their social economic status. 
I can see in the Two mothers of Jane Addams that many of the lessons in which she thinks that woman need in their formal education were lessons that her mother gave her as a child. i want to go into the history that inspired her to work for this formalized education for women. we can see that both mothers gave her different types of an education and i want to see which lessons were more important to sarah, the household work or the aesthetic. these lessons can be backed up by finding the parallel in her inquiring letters to deans of preexisting female schools. i feel that using Campbel's feminine style will also be useful in perpetuating this argument. 
i am not exactly certain which author it was that we read in class but it talked about how women with an education make better wives and i want to put that into the conversation with her article in the news paper that says women should be able to manage finances in the home. i want to look at how the information was presented whether the women were able to be passionate about their stance or if they were forced to be docile. 
i feel that i can use all these texts to present the argument that women domestic lives were not dependent on their education but that their acceptance into the male society was dependent on them having some sort of liberal education.

my battery is dying 
The text that I have been investigating at the Lilly Library is Besant's "Is the Bible Indictable". What interested me most in this pamphlet was how Besant drew upon Christian values to make her argument that if the Bible can be published under current law than medical document should be published too. I am interested to see how other author's we have read have drawn upon Christian concepts in order to make their own arguments. In order to show how other women have drawn on Christian ideology to make various claims I will examine Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century as well as Grimke's "An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South". My thesis will most likely be something like "Many women authors have called upon their audiences to make changes due to obligations as a Christian". For example, Besant calls upon her readers to object to the ruling that any book considered to excite its reader can be condemned, since under the current law the Bible can be indicted as well. Fuller reminds her readers that God created woman for man, but that man was not meant to be her master. Grimke informs her readers that slavery is a sin and that as good Christians they must speak out against it.
I think Killingsworth's "An Appeal to Times" will be an especially useful secondary source because the authors I focus on all appear to be writing as if addressing a crisis of the times. I also think that Campbell's idea of a feminine style will be useful in analyzing these texts. She writes that women were often considered to be morally superior to men and that this morality often manifested itself in the works of women authors. I also think that her idea of consciousness raising plays an important role in the texts I will investigate by Besant, Fuller, and Grimke.

Phase 4- Taking Stock and Moving Forward: Besant

 In the Lilly I have been consistently working with Annie Besant and the Free Thought Publishing Collection; more specifically with her text English Republicanism. While searching the Lilly for more resources within the Free Thought Publishing Collection I discovered that Besant wrote many pamphlets with Free Thought and that the two originally given to us at the Lilly were really just the tip of the ice burg pertaining to the information available. While searching those related sources I discovered that although many of her pieces within the Free Thought Group were related to a more republican society, there was one text that clearly stood out from the rest titled Modern Socialism. The plain dissonance between just the title and her other work interested me; Why would such a revolutionary woman want to enlighten her audience about the role of socialism and its benefits in modern society? 

From this question and some help from Dr. Graban I was able to come up with a tentative question for my paper. I plan to look at Besant's writing path throughout a specific number of years writing for Free Thought and the shifts that occurred throughout that time period based on three of her pamphlets within the Free Thought Collection. To unpack this question I plan to look at several different evidences that I can track throughout her pamphlets are: the structures of her argumentation, her consistency or inconsistency in her ideology, and the larger social context within the time of each pamphlet. 

My argument will center around Besant's English Republicanism and two other pamphlets within the Lilly collection, although I don't know specifically which two other articles I am going to use. In addition to three of Besant's works I plan to utilize outside sources from some of the resources within the class website. Again I don't know specific articles, but I will be looking for ones that will give me more information related to the social context surrounding each pamphlet I use. Hopefully though all these actions I can log Besant's rhetorical and political behavior in regards to what was happening in mainstream society. 

If anyone has any suggestions, questions or comments please tell me them! I am totally open to any help/knowledge given with a new set of eyes.  

Phase 4: Contagious Disease Acts

I am going to look at the pamphlets on the Contagious Diseases Act for my research paper. Comments, suggestions, or any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.

I plan to look at the three pamphlets from the Pall Mall Gazette that were offered to the class and put them into conversation with each other regarding the role of men in prostitution.

My ideas are not yet fully developed on this as I have not had time to examine each piece as closely as I would like to, but I am having them copied currently and already have some ideas. It seems that each writer, Mrs. Malleson, Justina, and Anonymous have an opinion of the role men play in perpetuating prostitution. They all seem to think that men hold at least some (if not most) of the responsibility. One of the reasons is at this time men had more economic power than women and the lack of economic power forced women into this work. Another reason is that it was men who frequented the prostitutes so not only were they helping to continue employment as prostitutes but they were also then spreading disease to their wives and children.

I would like to explore this idea of men's responsibility and lack of accountability with regards to prostitution. I think my goal would probably be to answer the question: How do each of these writers differ in their opinion of the role of men (as clients) with regards to prostitution and the spread of diseases?

For this I would the only sources I have at the moment are the three pamphlets I looked at in class. For aditional sources it is a possibility to look further into the London Lowlife Collection, but I'm not sure how much I want to complicate my research with aditional opinions. One source I will look into, however, is "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon." This is also from the Pall Mall Gazette and looks into the issue of what was called "white slavery" basically forced prostitution and child prostitution. This writing could help me find more about the way this issue was viewed at the time.

I have quite a bit more work to do before I can turn in a paper proposal, but I am hoping I can work with this question, because I find it highly interesting.