I met with Dr. Quigley again this past week and asked him if he would be willing to be my thesis advisor. He agreed, but again mentioned that I may need to seek some advice from an anthropologist in the Religion and Culture department. He asked me if I had thought any more about the focus of my thesis and recommended I speak to a few more faculty members. I spoke to Dr. Milteer and Dr. Wallenstein this past week about their research and my thesis topic. Dr. Milteer seemed very interested in the past and modern abolition movements and he suggested I begin to look at the two groups use of images, especially “white slaves” as an abolitionist strategy. Dr. Wallenstein thought this could be promising when I mentioned is during our meeting. Like Dr. Milteer he thought this was a good starting point for my research and a means to narrow the broad topic of abolition. I look forward to talking to Dr. Quigley about the idea and discussing some of the articles I found this coming week.
As I read this post, it seemed that rather than an anthropologist you might need to talk to someone about rhetorical analysis. How did the abolitionists make arguments against slavery? When and how did “white slavery” enter their lexicon?
Or another way to ask the same question — what is it that an anthropologist will help you clarify about your interests?
Also seems as though Turabian’s discussion of the difference between conceptual and applied question might be something you want to think about, given the way you explained your interest in current antislavery movements.
I am sure Professor Wallenstein is pleased to have you discussing your topic with him! He has always seemed so interested in what you are planning to do for your thesis.
In terms of talking with people from other departments, I may be in the same boat the further I get into this project. While I believe I will have much help from within the history department, the more I move toward a topic in environmental history, the more possible it is that I might need to speak with someone in environmental sciences.
Good morning David,
I think that Dr. Jones has a great point about branching out to look at another source, such as the anthropology aspect. Have you considered looking into the Religion and Culture department and trying to find a professor who might have some insight into the culture/reasoning behind the slave trade. (Aside from just the monetary side of the trade. You might want to look into forced slavery into the drug world as well.