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Category: Research

Thesis Intro

The following is an excerpt from a draft of the introduction to my thesis. If anyone is interested in reading more I’d be happy to provide additional text as well. Drawing its name from the Grand River’s rapids near which the city was founded, Grand Rapids’ rise was somewhat fortuitous. Grand Rapids occupied a regional economic importance located between Detroit and Chicago. However, Grand Rapids did not benefit from its location. It was neither directly between the two major cities, nor was it positioned on the lakeshore. Early industry was positioned around natural resources, namely the river which bisected the… Read Thesis Intro

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Clubs of GR

The following is an excerpt from the same chapter draft as last week’s post. Grand Rapids’ Club Scene According to the Peninsular Club’s constitution, the club’s primary function was “to promote social intercourse amongst its members.” In order to accommodate the city’s preeminent elite on both sides of the political aisle, the club refused to express any “opinion on any religious, political or social question.” On everyday but Sunday, members could frequent the club house from seven in the morning until midnight, though special occasions could keep the club open until four in the morning. The club was still open… Read Clubs of GR


Spatializing GR

I am currently coming down the home stretch for my MA thesis and it has been keeping me quite busy. My thesis work actually made me miss a blog post last week (I am sure people were heartbroken). This week as a sort of compromise with myself I am posting an excerpt. Granted, this is a very rough section of the second draft of my first chapter. In my digital project I added a spatial element to my research, something I have continued in my work. The excerpt below is the base layer of an introduction to the city’s elite.… Read Spatializing GR


The Corrupt Network

Last week, I turned in my project for my digital history seminar. What I hope is evident from my design, I used this course to play with an idea of investigating “Facebook friends” in the past. “Facebook friends” is a modern term that can describe relationships ranging from life long friendships and one time acquaintances. Though Facebook and the term “Facebook friends” are modern things, social networks are nothing new. Examining social networks of the past provides context for events, like the political scandal on which my thesis is based. My digital project is meant to visualize some of the… Read The Corrupt Network

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Can Micro be Macro?

Even though I am still trying to finish my MA thesis, I cannot help but think forward to finding a dissertation topic. Now I like my MA thesis topic, and I think there is still much I could do with it, but I want to really love my dissertation topic (I think you need to in order to finish it). So recently I have been thinking about some potential avenues that might bring some of my diverse historical interests together into one project. In the past, I have dove directly into primary sources, and I probably will start that way… Read Can Micro be Macro?