Wed 14 Nov 2007
After discussing the collective biography with Professor Borges he was skeptical about whether I could develop a collective biography involving comparative migration in North and South America. He encouraged me to do research on the subject matter but was doubtful that any of it would relate to the seminar next semester. Some brainstorming with him led me to believe that I could find key characters in Italian labor leaders in the United States, Brazil and Argentine. During this week I researched Italian workers, immigrants, labor movements, migration, Diasporas, indentured servitude, unions, etc. I found lots of interesting information with regard to immigration trends, cultural comparisons and anthropological studies, but unfortunately I could not choose specific Italian labor leaders across the Americas or determine a new way to analyze their similarities or differences. When searching labor movements and leaders I repeatedly came across Irish leaders, but I could not find enough information on Irish migration to South America.
Frustrated and realizing that the entire week was a waste of time I panicked and decided to return to my original idea of a collective biography of inventors during the first Industrial Revolution, Benjamin Franklin, James Watt, John Fitch, Eli Whitney, Samuel and Morse.
I have yet to commit to a thesis statement but my bibliography thus far consists of 44 Dickinson College books of biographies, historical and economic analyzes of the Industrial Revolution, and examinations of scientific discoveries. I would like this paper to discuss history as the advancement of society and explain that improvement and technological innovations take place and progress in groups. Although they do not share the same properties I would like to rationalize that the telegraph may not have been invented if it were not for the cotton gin because of an introduction and interest in new techniques for study spurred curiosity and the distribution of theories among colleagues.
The desired purpose of my paper would be to reveal that these 5 men influenced each other and contributed to one another’s success. An important factor to this sharing of practices may be the role that London played during this time period as a cultural hub of society. Many of these men were American but all of them at some point during their lives traveled to London to further their studies. I am still looking for evidence that these men crossed paths, employed each others’ methods or lived and studied in London.