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  • Post-Committee Meeting Comments

    Posted on April 27th, 2014 Rosemary Zlokas No comments

    I am happy to report that I had my first committee meeting this week and it went well…and was a lot of fun, too!  It definitely helped that I have had Dr. Jones, Dr. Mollin, and Dr. Cline as professors before and was used to their style of feedback and this put me at ease for asking all of my follow-up questions.

    We discussed ways to narrow down my topic.  I will not be looking at 1940-1950, rather than 1945-1960.  This narrows things down a bit, but will also add a really interesting aspect of how things differed right before, during, and after World War II.  For example, I can looking at how male-female rations changed during and after the war and how this affected how much effort women put into their appearances, as well as what type of military training programs were on campus.  Additionally, we decided that I only need to look at one college, rather than one co-ed and one women’s college.  I am still planning on looking at Carnegie Mellon University (with University of Pittsburgh still as a back-up option).  This cuts one facet of my research in half and will make discussing the “college student reception” part of my thesis a lot more focused.  In relation to looking at CMU, they raised some pertinent questions, such as how elite was the school?, did women live on or off campus?, and where did they come from?

    We also discussed my evidence base at length.  All of my committee members are on board with my research trip to DC and had some great advice on how to prepare ahead of time and how to keep track of records.  They were also on board with the evidences I have in mind (magazines, advertisements, beauty manuals, sorority records, college newspapers, yearbooks) and also added student handbooks, course catalogs, and sorority recruitment records to the list.  We discussed how gathering all of this evidence will fit into my summer plans.

    We began to hammer down some of the details about the Public History components of my thesis.  I will still be trying to collect oral histories this summer (probably 6) and aim to learn how to interpret these in the fall with the help of Dr. Cline.  We also talked about the digital component, which I have begun working on as my final project for my Digital History course.  I shared the website that I have coded from scratch, what I have already added to it, and how I see it being valuable for both sharing information, and acting as a digital archive/exhibit of sorts.  There are some procedural issues to work out with both of these, such as IRB protocols for the oral histories and copyright issues if I decide to host my website.

    Overall, the committee gave me a lot to think about and I am even more excited to jump into my research this summer!