For this assignment, you will write the back history of your research topic.
The research topic is The Chinese Civil war
Using the lectures, the materials in week 3 and 4 modules, and Soviet Daughter as a model, research the historical context of your topic
Option1: If you are writing your family history, start identifying events in the period of the 1920-30s. Like Alekseyeva does in her novel what happened in that past? You may need to first do some research on where your family lived, and if you dont have specifics go broad: what community was your family a part of? where did they live? what is generally known (from books or newspaper sources) about that city at that time and what do you think might have been relevant to them? If you know the kind of work they did what was that work? If your great-grandfather was a journalist in India what newspaper did he write in? If you grandmother was a seamstress, what did womens or mens fashion look like in her town/country at the time? If there was a major political upheaval in that country in this period what was the upheaval about? (Pretend my grand grand parents were live in that period, And my grandparents told me about the history of that period)
Option2: if you will research a topic that is nor related to your family, you still need to place in a historical context. So ask yourself: what was known about this in the first half of the 20th Century? Who are the people who matter to this topic? In soviet daughter the novel places events in time and place, but also connects them to the people that made the events happen. I want you to do same, and try to understand the people that would support/thwart/help the movement/ invention/ event. If your interest is medical research what was the cutting edge in surgery in the 1930 but also can you see how it has changed over time? Or if you love cars and want to write a history of the combustion engine, take us back to its early history but not in the US! Make sure you explore cars beyond Ford. Or if airplanes are your thing take us back to flight in the early 20th C and who the people/companies that made it work were. If you are interested in fashion explore how war-time penury influenced fashion, and where the fabrics used in slow fashion came from. If you are interested in cuisine, how would we find out what was on the menu in homes or restaurants in Paris, Rabat, Manila or Rio de Janeiro -? If you are interested in politics which countries existed in the early 20th C that you would not find on a map today?
Think about the interconnectedness of events. The use of silk for parachutes created a shortage of silk for womens stockings, which led to some ingenious solutions. By that same token, the increase in the speed of travel across continents changed the availability of produce across the globe, but it also tied many countries to consumer habits and markets they had no prior connection to. The Soviet Daughter story is as much about Julias grandmother and family as it is about her and her recovery from cancer (which is tied to a more modern Russian calamity the Chernobyl explosion).
In 400 or more words (or the equivalent if your submission is something else than a written text), explore this past and those that inhabited it, and make sure you include your primary and/or secondary sources and that they are reliable.
Make sure you include a final word count at the end of the paper.
CITE YOUR SOURCES we need to know how you know what you know. If you are not writing a paper, we still need to know where you got your info, so make sure you find a way to include your sources. Whatever the form of your story, it has to be legitimate. History is as much about what happened, as it is about what was recorded about it, so do not leave that detail out of your submission.
DO NOT USE TERTIARY SOURCES, we expect you to go beyond the superficial. Websites like history.com or infoplease.com are neither scholarly nor reliable we will not accept anything that comes from those sites. Use sources that have an identifiable author and that make explicit reference to the sources they used (ie the sources have to have footnotes/citations).
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