Firstly, how have we reached the end of week eleven? Where has this semester gone? It seems only yesterday that we were grappling with the AHR conversation and other, notable, introductory texts, and feeling pretty ropey trying to get to know one another over Teams and its dodgy connection.
Secondly, I just want to say how enjoyable it was watching all your presentations – I love the diverse range of content, and how each one of us have settled on something that interests and excites us – and that really comes through in the presentations. Like a number of people have commented on already, I hope we get to share our final projects/essays – as, with the blog posts and our two presentations, I feel invested in the journey – and want to see how they end.
Anyway, without further ado, I’ll crack onto some comments – and I’m sure I’ll have more by the time we meet again on Tuesday, so if I don’t have a comment for your presentation written here, don’t worry, I’ll get to you!
Grace – Transnational Reproduction
Wow! What a really interesting topic. I take my hats off to you, especially in regards to the challenge of balancing the ethical implications of transnational reproduction, while wanting to look at history, policies, and methods behind it. This is just my curiosity, but do you fall on one side of the ethical debate? And if so, how do you plan to investigate it and run your project? Is it something you feel you need to try and remain neutral and not allow your bias to cloud your research, or, will your research benefit from your own feelings about the topic? I realise that was a lot of questions, but its something I’ve been wrestling with as I read more about refugees, and wondered if you had any thoughts.
The points you made about the challenges and benefits of doing a project with present-day implications were also really good. I’d love to know the title of the Potter and Romano article you cited – I think the last page of your bibliography got cut off – but it’s a challenge I’m similarly facing. Balancing the past with the present; and trying not to afford one or the other too much importance. I wish you all the luck with finding sources, and can’t wait to hear the findings (even if they do come at the end of a dissertation, rather than in three weeks time!)
Morven – Race in Othello
Lovely and concise – what an introduction to your project. I’d possibly have appreciated a couple of definitions – but then, it could just be me who doesn’t understand what “rhizomatic” means in the academic (non scientific) setting. How much context do you plan on bringing in? When were the two plays written? I know you mentioned Suzman’s Othello being written in Apartheid South Africa, but when was Omkara written? How much does its time influence its performance and reception? As I was listening, I felt like I would have benefitted from a comparison between the two different Shakespeares – the Western Shakespeare, and the one you find in these two adaptations of Othello – but also a simple similarities and differences list between Omkara and Suzman’s Othello. Despite all those questions (sorry), it’s a really fascinating topic, and one that I think only scratches the surface on what is out there. I can’t wait to read your conclusions, and what happens to the Bard who has for so long, been a household name.
Roger – Migrational Masala
Lovely clear structure of your presentation – and I think that’ll be really helpful for your essay too! I’m such a fan of good organisation and preparation. I did have to wonder though, what were the specific anthropological tools you mentioned? What are you drawing from other disciplines? Also, thank you for identifying the gap in the scholarship; this is really helpful. How do you think you’re going to tackle the challenge that oral history presents itself, and the “knowledge loss” and alienation of culture that you mentioned? It makes me think of using the absence of something as a tool for identification, and when we’re told to look for what the source doesn’t say, as much as what it does say. I hope you’ve been able to sample a number of masala mixes during your research though – and have had some edible benefits to the project!
Douglas – French and American Revolutions
Hey Douglas – great presentation. I loved the bit where you talked about communication in your sources section. It reminded me of something we looked at in my module last semester, MO3349, ‘The American Metropolis’. During it, we looked at the growth and development of the American city, from Pilgrims through to present day. So, evidently, we looked at the Revolutionary period too – but the reason for mentioning it here, was that Newspapers were actually a big source of spreading revolutionary ideas. They managed to cross borders, printers shared stories, and ideas spread, far more effectively than the British government realised. If you want a specific article/chapter, let me know and I can share the details.
I found your overview of the historiography really helpful, so thank you. My other question, is how does the “worldwide revolution” relate to the transnational approach to history? And how much will it play a part in your project?
Naomi – Bruce Lee: Fist of Fury
What a really clear structure to your presentation, and a really interesting range of sources. I love that you’re bridging the gap between cinema, academic scholarship, and ethnographic interviews for your research. It’s another way of celebrating the less typical sources used in academia, and I love it (I’m partial to rocking the boat slightly!). Have you considered looking at the conceptual history for “masculinity”? I know you’ve looked into gender studies, but I wonder whether the conceptual approach may help too. I had a few questions in response to your presentation: How do you propose to join the Western and Eastern cinema powers? Does “masculinity” look different in Hong Kong – i.e., is there a “Western masculinity”, or is it something more universal? Has this new trope of masculinity that was introduced by Bruce Lee’s films been influential on the current thoughts about masculinity in Hong Kong? I wish you all the best with your reading, researching, and interviewing – for what sounds like a really exciting topic.
I hope some of those reflections have been helpful – and if not, please ignore them! For those of you I haven’t gotten round to yet, I’m sorry – and even though our blog posts have to be in to MMS tomorrow, I’ll try and add another post with the second half of the presentations.
Thanks for being such a great group of people to study with – who have challenged my thinking and constructively challenged my writing. I’ve certainly enjoyed being in this module together – and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcomes of MO3351.