1:00 office hours

Greetings, all!  What questions do you have about your research in progress?   Issues with particular archives or databases? Ideas about your project?

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3 thoughts on “1:00 office hours”

  1. Prof. Troutman,
    I am still mulling over the exact question I am going to pose for my future project. So far the main idea is to focus on the shifting of advertisement techniques during the mid 1900’s, when more and more research started to appear claiming that cigarettes were a health risk. There are many different resources that I am considering, from T.V commercials to the advertisements in magazines. Would it be a good idea to only focus on one medium (such as commercials), or would it be beneficial to include the whole spectrum, from T.V to text to posters? Would it be distracting to cite/include the articles that mention the negative research done in relation to cigarettes, or should I just focus solely on the advertisements?
    Thank you!

    [PT: This is a really interesting idea: How did the cig companies advertise, at any given time period, in the context of published science research &/or publicly acknowledged ideas about cigs harmful effects? And how did this change over time? Think about those ads in the Hatchet & Ghost: “Not a cough in a carload!”–those ads explicitly acknowledge public knowledge about cigs causing coughing, but they aim to divert that away from their particular brand. How did other cig companies address this at that time–you could look ads from diff companies from the same time period in all media–newspaper/magazine ads, TV commercials (once those exist), billboards (if you can find reproductions of those), etc. Or you could take a couple of different specific time periods and compare them across maybe just one type of ad–e.g., Hatchet ads for cigarettes in the 1920s vs. the 1960s or 1970s. Etc. In each case, you’d want to know what the status of scientific knowledge was, as background. Lots of different ways to make this a viable project and to constrain its scope.]

  2. Professor Troutman,

    I think I have decided to stay away from the manipulation of graphs for my research paper, but I still enjoy the idea of the women and glass ceiling or something along those lines throughout history. I like the idea of using cartoons as a visual representation of the glass ceiling, but from what I have found so far there is not a substantial amount of them to support an entire paper. Do you have any suggestions on how to broaden the topic?

    Thank you,

    [PT: Jill, I think this is a great idea, and I think there will be plenty of cartoons out there. How about political cartoons about women in the work force? You could look at, say, cartoons from the same newspaper across different time periods, or different newspapers in the same time period. Think about flashpoints in this history–women in clerical or factory work in the early 1900s, the post-WWII push to get women out of factory work again, or maybe questions about women doing field work during the Chicano movement of the 1960s, or questions about equal pay and the ERA in the 1970s and 80s? (and now?). I think you can click “editorial cartoons” in a number of those newspaper databases. Ask a librarian for help with finding them.]

  3. Once we have our general question for this research project should we use images as facts at face value to prove points that we make as we make them or analyze the images themselves to create a certain interpretation that will help us prove a point, or do a little bit of both? Also do you have a suggestion for the length of a period of time that we should look at? Would it be better to hyper-analyze a period of 10 to 15 years when answering our question or looking at the implications of what we are trying to answer in a broader scope of 50+ years.

    [PT: You want to turn your general question into a specific question that will require you to analyze images in order to answer the question. In other words, you are not looking for images that “prove” a pre-conceived point, and you are most certainly not going to take any images at face value. You want to think about who was using images for what purposes, or how viewers responded to those images, or how certain kinds of images functioned in specific ways perhaps vs. other kinds of images. On time period, there are good ways to do either. You could, for example, look closely at a single type of portrayal or visual theme in the same magazine or same type of magazine across a long period of time; or you could compare/contrast that portrayal or visual theme across a variety of media in the same time period. It will depend on what kind of question you are asking & what you are interested in–e.g., change over time? or maybe the ways images “argue” with each other in the same time period?]

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