a) What have been the major obstacles you have faced in putting a research project together?
There is a lot of literature on my topic, so it was quite overwhelming looking through them and trying to find the most useful for me. I didn’t really know where to start in narrowing down my ideas.
b)What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles?
Talking with my supervisor was helpful as she gave me some examples of leading historians in my research area. Using the advance search on Jstor was also really helpful as it helped me sift through the sources quicker and more effectively.
c)What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation?
I’ve learned to become much more efficient when I am using sites like Jstor in order to find the best and most relevant information for my topic.
d)Which aspects of the 9X6 module have been the most useful in helping you get your project ready to start?
The seminars and examples for the dissertation proposal and methodology assignment were very useful as they helped provide me with a structure for my own. Also, the seminars on how to use archives was extremely useful because I wasn’t really good at using them before. Lastly, just generally getting me to start thinking seriously about my dissertation as I hadn’t really thought enough about it beforehand whereas, now I have a much clearer idea and structure.
I am currently researching two areas of interest and trying to decide between them. One of my dissertation ideas involves Africa and the Cold War, and the other involves the Anglo-Boer War relating to the experience of women and black South Africans in the camps and the opinions of British Feminists on these camps. I have done more research on the latter so far, therefore my annotated biography will revolve around this.
- Krebs, Paula M. “The Last of the Gentlemen’s Wars: Women in the Boer War Concentration Camp Controversy”. History Workshop, 33 (1992): 38-56 https://www.jstor.org/stable/4289138 Accessed 27/01/21
I found this journal article through JSTOR by searching for sources on the Anglo-Boer Wars and topics surrounding this. This article discusses the contrasting opinions of British feminists about the camps and the reasoning behind their opinions. The article also provides an insight to the experience of the women in the camps and sheds light on the black camps, which are far less explored generally. The source analyses the racial reasoning behind some opinions of the camps as well as the nature of war. This source is useful to my dissertation as it provides an insight into the relationship between the British, the Boer and the black South Africans, and helped provide an angle for me to undertake my research.
- De Reuck, Jenny. “Social Suffering and the Politics of Pain: Observations on the Concentration Camps in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902.” English in Africa, 26, No. 2 (1999): 69-88 https://www.jstor.org/stable/40238883 Accessed 30/01/21
I found this journal article the same way in which I found the previous, through JSTOR. In this article, the relationship between the British, the Boer and the black people of South Africa is explored. The source evaluates the way in which the stories of the suffering of black South Africans have largely been ignored and silenced and provides insight to their experience. The journal discusses the various recounts of the camps and also shows the differing opinions of British feminists at this time through their own writings, as well as discussing the British press’ portrayal of the Boer and the camps. This is a useful source as it provides a wider context surrounding the topic, as well as a deeper understanding into specific areas such as the experiences in the black camps.
- Seibold, Birgit. “Emily Hobhouse and the Reports on the Concentration Camps during the Boer War 1899-1902: Two Perspectives.” (2014) https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/stir/detail.action?docID=5782061 Accessed 30/01/21
In this source, the documented writings on the camps, from the contrasting feminist perspectives, are explored and compared. The source discusses in detail the experiences of specific women and their outlook on the War and the camps. The work and opinions of Hobhouse and Fawcett are evaluated and the differences between their opinions are thoroughly examined. This source is very helpful as it provides a large amount of detail into the standpoint of many British people at the time and feminists. The source also provides clear comparisons between the contrasting opinions of Fawcett and Hobhouse which will be useful for my dissertation.
I plan on using the resources discussed in this week’s lecture and class to find useful primary sources for my dissertation. In addition to the sources mentioned, I have some physical books which have been very helpful in researching my topic so far.