Historical Research Workshop



My name is Jonathan Scott II, one of your four DeCal facilitators for this semester. In a previous post, I quoted J.R.R Tolkien, discussing just what research is. As Tolkien puts it,

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

As some of you have already come to realize, research is an active process of searching, looking, uncovering and re-searching material, only to come to the realization that you actually are far more interested in something slightly connected to your original idea. The process of research, or should I say, lifestyle, is one full of surprises and enjoyment, marked with a new resource and material at each turn.

As I begin my research this fall on African and slave culture in the British West Indies, I delve into the ever long question, what factored into the subsistence of slavery in the New World. Narrowing and tailoring my topic are part of an everyday process as research reveals more and more what information is available/ accessible and what I am able to concur from them.

A bit of administrative work, this DeCal is based in the mindset that historians work best in communication, each discussing and working collaboratively to discover and analyze history to the best of the ability, in an effort to fully understand causes and events. That said, even as we discuss amongst our peers in a group setting, one on one times prove to be very effective, allowing students to discuss major and minor topics and themes in a less formal setting. So with that, I want you to know that I am most available for office hours Wednesdays from 10-11 am. Unless otherwise scheduled, we can always meet at Café Stráda. Office hours are by appointment only, so please let me know if you would like to meet. If you are not able to make this time, shoot me an email and we can always work something out.

Until next class,


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