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HISTPHD-L  April 2011

HISTPHD-L April 2011

Subject:

Start of Consolidated Dissertation Topics List

From:

Tracy L Fisher <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Tracy L Fisher <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 11:28:51 -0400

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text/plain

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PhD students, if you're willing to add your topic to the list, please send along the paragraph you sent Alexa or a few sentences about your topic and your preferred e-mail address.  The idea would be if someone found a reference or resources potentially relevant to your topic, they could send it along.

There's some talk of putting these up on the PhD website, so let me know if you're prefer not to have that happen.

Thanks, Tracy

Alan Brody
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I am looking for materials dealing with American restaurants, particularly theme restaurants. I am particularly interested in items that would support a project on the restaurant business in America. I am looking for materials that deal with individual theme restaurants, such as Trader Vics, Hard Rock Caf&#65533;, etc."

Alexandra (Sasha) Boni
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I do new political history of Cold War America which in essence is trying to meld diplomatic and cultural history into one. My proposed dissertation is an examination of the political nuclear issues of the late 1950s compared to the 1980s and the trying to trace the impact these issues had on the cultural nuclear awareness by examining visual media such as political cartoons, film, television, etc.

Erin Bush
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The murder trials of Laura D. Fair (San Francisco, 1871) and Kate Southern (Pickens County, Georgia, 1878) including, subsequent community (national?) impact and newspaper coverage. I am broadly interested in how women and others used constructs of "female-ness" in the late nineteenth century during a murder trial, especially when the accused admitted their guilt. I hope to address issues in the "medicalization" of womanhood as it was used for and against the accused. Laura claimed insanity due to dysmenorrhea and Kate was newly pregnant when they killed their respective victims. In both cases, these women were sentenced to hang, but Laura was acquitted on appeal and Kate was eventually released and pardoned.

Tracy Fisher
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I'm planning to research how and why the decision was made to repatriate American war dead in the 20th century (and perhaps to compare the American and British experiences).  Both during WWI and WWII, the government encouraged people to bury their war dead in Europe, but many families resisted doing so.  At the same time, there are a number of overseas cemeteries of American war dead in Europe, reflecting the willingness of some families (including the families of Teddy Roosevelt and George Patton) to let their dead stay in Europe. In addition, the Tomb of the Unknowns was developed after WWI in the US as well as in France and Britain to reflect those with "no known grave." In Korea and Vietnam, there seems to have been little question that the US dead would be repatriated completely -- it's not yet clear to me whether that's because Asia was more foreign than Europe or simply because with no stable front line, there was concern that the dead would be in the hands of the enemy.  I'd like to examine whether the US was influenced in its decisions by the actions of European states like Britain or France when deciding how to handle the dead and how the government decided whether each new war would be run like the last war or not with respect to the treatment of the dead.

Lynn Price
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In my major paper for my MA, &#65533;Negotiating Freedom: The Process of Manumission in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and Alexandria, Virginia,&#65533; I examined the methods of creating, defining, and manipulating the concept of freedom in the early United States through the Virginia Free Negro Registers and manumission documents, along with various other legal and political sources. My dissertation will expand this work, moving from a more focused social history to include intellectual history, incorporating race and gender constructions. I hope to do this through a comparative examination of manumission in the mid-Atlantic states to the colonization of Liberia. Primary sources such as the American Colonization Society Papers&#65533;available at the Library of Congress and the Library of Virginia&#65533;and legal and political documents such as newspapers and speeches will be used to examine the rhetoric that surrounded colonization and a new type of freedom for American slaves. Firsthand accounts from Liberia, including letters and diaries, will be used to investigate the results of such rhetoric on the ground, hopefully yielding useful clues to the social, racial, and gender constructions of freed slaves. Overall, such research will allow my dissertation to analyze the differences in the constructions of freedom for freed slaves who remained in the United States to slaves who emigrated to Liberia. 

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