Starting a Research Blog

That’s right, folks: after years of swearing  I would never do this, I have decided to give blogging a chance. But don’t worry. I haven’t lost all my standards. I do expect that some of the posts will be personal because what I do reflects my passions and beliefs–and I find the research and writing process to be an intimate one–but I promise you that I will not post my dirty laundry.

In other words, this will be a more formal version of my research journal, so if you’d like to follow along as I dissertate, this will be the best place to do it. I’m also looking for ways to apply this blog (and others like it) to the classroom. If you have ideas on how to do that, I’d love to hear them.

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My First Blog Entry Ever:

Over spring break, I headed to Knoxville to visit the UT archives … well, I first spent four days at the beach, but THEN I went to Knoxville.

About a month earlier, I had learned from research librarian Michael Van Fossen that June Adamson, a journalist from Oak Ridge who had written an unpublished manuscript about the Clinton High School desegregation, had deposited her papers and oral history tapes. Based on her manuscript, I knew that she had done a few oral histories as a part of her research. I went in expecting to see ten to fifteen tapes. What I hadn’t realized was that she had done this:

p1000433

Yep, that’s five boxes full of oral history tapes. She had started doing interviews in the late seventies, and she targeted community leaders, many of whom were adults during the desegregation conflict and who have since died. This was one of those wonderful experiences when I went into the archive wondering if I even had a full week of research to do and left needed several more weeks to get it all finished. I’m still at the point in my work when that is fantastic news. Now, how to get back to Knoxville …

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