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HUM 313 (Mullins)

This online guide contains materials selected by your librarian, in partnership with your professor, to highlight resources you'll need to complete your assignment.


HUM 313: ANCESTRY PROJECT: A Portrait of Two Generations of Women in Your Family

....To the degree that the subjects of your study are alive and available, you are expected to conduct oral or written interviews with them. If that is not possible, then obtaining information about them from other relatives or friends may be plausible. Failing all of that, you will need to depend upon your own memory. You may also use written family records where pertinent and available, such as marriage, birth, divorce,  and death certificates, immigration records, letters, diaries, newspaper articles, and family photographs... 

After you have collected all of your data from two generations within your family, write a paper that includes the following components:

1. Name, year and place of birth, and relationship to you of each respondent. Be sure to ask the respondent if she objects to being identified by name, and if so, use a pseudonym. State in the introductory paragraph of the paper who the respondents have agreed may have access to the document. Also indicate the source of information about each respondent (interview, documents, personal recollection, etc.).

2. The family history that you have obtained through your study.

3. A contextual commentary on the history of the women in your family: do outside research that enables you to put your relatives' experiences in a larger context and to explain that context in your paper. Locate three scholarly sources (a peer reviewed journal article or book) that will complement your understanding of the historical, economic, and cultural forces that shaped the decades in which your ancestors lived.  For instance, if your grandmother was a college student, you should do research on women’s education in the twentieth century -- that she was a part of the gradual increase in the number of American females seeking university education in the years following World War II. Other possibilities: you can reflect upon—and explain in your paper where relevant—the cultural tensions between becoming an American and retaining values from other cultures; the mixed messages that females in many cultural groups receive about female beauty; the function that married women's wages have played in the past 50 years in maintaining family economic status; the ways that new technologies and new laws are affecting health, work, etc. This commentary should be integrated with your presentation of historical information.

Websites are not valid sources for this assignment.  You must consult scholarly sources, and these must be listed on your Works Cited page.  If you have questions about your sources, please see me or a librarian. Minimum number of sources: three.

4. Your own conclusions regarding the changes that have (or have not) occurred in the lives of the women in your family and any comments you may wish to make regarding any changes revealed by the histories you have collected.