Last week, I had the chance to sit down and workshop the first draft of my research. After speaking with Dr. Karamanski and Marie, I feel more confident about my research project. The feedback, between all of us, made me feel as though my paper is in a strong position to clearly explain ALL that I have learned during this seminar and make a definitive historical critique.
My plan for revising is simple:
- resolve each issue Marie or Professor Karamanski within my paper
- provide additional context (where needed)
- argue my conclusion, and then
- return to my work and make sure my thesis is understood throughout each section
As I begin this process, I think it will be best if I examine the sources I have already used. Dr. Karamanski noted that one of my short-comings came from only using one to two primary documents. As we discussed during our individual meeting, part of my revision process will also include finding additional sources (where needed).
The biggest challenge I will face, while revising, is most likely finding a strong way to relate the differences between Indian slavery during the early period of French settlement (fur trading and hunting) and the Indian enslavement during agricultural expansion (production of foodstuffs in lower Illinois). Though we were able to talk through these different periods of slavery (in our individual meeting), I still believe this is a complicated aspect of Indian slavery and important to my audience’s understanding.
I believe the strongest aspect of my paper comes from my comprehensive examination of Jesuit interactions with Indian slavery. Aside from providing substantial excerpts of Jesuit Priests writing about Indian slaves, the secondary content of my paper also highlights the relative culture of Jesuit missions in New France. As we discussed during our meeting, I think that if I am able to build on the Jesuits’ history of practicing cultural relativism, then I should be able to prove how their relationship with Indian slavery could have been too harshly judged.
I am confident that my future (additional) edits to my paper will help me construct the strongest undergraduate research I have ever completed.