I am thinking about the structure of my project. I think the structure would suit an extended project proposal for an area of greater research potential. It is interesting thinking of it this way. While I think it will work better under this format now it is almost bittersweet to put it forward in this way. I don’t know if I am going to get the opportunity to look see the end of this and find answers to the questions that I cam across in a full enough way, but then are we ever really able to fully answer our questions on history?
Anyway, I think this will work well as now there is little in-depth research and literature on the history of the Esperanto movement in Scotland. To do this I am thinking to structure the 4000 words something like the following.
The first section will deal with the 7th World Esperanto Congress in Antwerp in 1911. I think it is fair to use this as a starting point as it was pretty much my own starting point with Esperanto, and the point from which my reading and research has stemmed from in order to better understand it. To do this I will first set a developed context, discussing the leading themes, aims and persons within the Esperanto congress at the time, thus indicating the transnational nature of the movement and the effect that this was having on some communities, specifically in Europe – branching out to the Scottish groups that can be found at the time.
Following this I will have a section that I am hoping will essentially highlight why Scotland is an interesting case within the greater Esperanto movement and so deserving of further research and analysis. To do this I will be working primarily with comparative methods and data collected on the attendance of Scotland and other countries to the annual congresses preceding, including, and succeeding the 1911 Congress in Antwerp. This data comparison will highlight whether there were patterns to Scotland’s interaction with the Esperanto movement in the early 1900s. The use of comparison in transnational history, as well as my personal preference for it, will become apparent in this section, and may be highlighted if appropriate as a key aspect of research in any broader research that this project may propose. What early comparison of this data has already showed me is that there was a significant number of women each year in attendance of the conferences. I am ye unsure whether there will be a place for this to significantly contribute in this study, but it has been a striking aspect that I have stumbled across and so I would like to at least raise it at some point, perhaps with some of the ideas presented in a chapter by Roberto Garvia titled ‘Pacifists, Taylorists and Feminists’, that may have some pointers to the involvement of women in the movement – this angle will only be followed up if it fits in with the context of the rest of the project.
Finally, there will be a section on the scholarship and prominent historiography surrounding the topic. This will indicate that there is a place for this commentary on the Scottish Esperantist, as most scholarship is focused on other European countries with little if any reference to the Scottish case. That said, it is possible that there are themes and ideas about the history of the Esperanto movement in these cases that could be applied to the Scottish example.
By constructing these three sections, I hope to overall show 1. The context this project may find itself in; 2. That the Scottish movement is one of significance, deserving of study; and 3. That there is a gap for further research of this type.