Monday, December 4th, 2017...9:06 pmMichaela

Rough Intro and Thesis

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How loud must an oppressed group yell in order to be heard? The British government created laws that purposely mistreated the people of Ireland and the American government did not acknowledge the laws that were meant to protect African Americans. This anthology will analyze the legislation like America’s Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill and Ireland’s Home Rule Bill in relation to both the Celtic Revival and the Harlem Renaissance. While both bills failed to pass, one aspect of the legislation is that both governments were unable to provide minorities the basic rights of countrymen: the rights given alongside citizenship. The failures of both governments connect  to the Celtic Revival and the Harlem Renaissance and how multiple authors respond to those failures. However, both movements do not include every voice that wanted to be heard. During the Home Rule movement in Ireland, women were expected to fight alongside men for a form of liberation but remain in a subservient role within the established social hierarchy. When the American government failed to pass the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, African American writers were calling for more education for members of their community but members who were educated had more of a voice compared to those who were uneducated. By reading the literature from the Celtic revival in conjunction with literature from the Harlem Renaissance, a pattern of overlooked voices can be understood, both within the law but also within the literature itself.


Question: Do you think that the bills that I mention add to my claim or would you recommend that I try different legislation?



  • Dear Michaela, I think I may be able to particularly help you because I have been studying these two bills for the last couple months and am writing my final paper on them. What I would first ask is what your claim is. Are you saying that in both HarlemRen and CelticRev there are overlooked voices as a direct result of the failed bills? What are these voices? Could there not be other reasons why they aren’t being heard? I think you’re good with analyzing the Home Rule bill as long as you specify which iteration. As for the Dyer bill, how does anti-lynching specifically tie into your argument? Weren’t freedoms of speech and segregation also huge problems for African Americans? Bringing legislation into your anthology is a good idea because it adds historical context (I’m doing it myself); however, I would just ask you to solidify your claim, and then ask what your claim represents. Do the laws work against this claim and why, and how is this relevant to the literature?

  • I really like how you open your anthology – I am very intrigued. I think you are looking at these two movements from a unique perspective from both a political and literary lens. It might be helpful to be more specific as to what exactly was stated in both bills so that readers are fully aware of the shortcomings of each before they begin reading the anthology. Overall sounds great!

  • Michaela,
    I really like this idea for your final anthology! I think it would be really cool to look at these two rules and see how they effected the Celtic Revival and the Harlem Rennaisance. To follow up with Peters point, make sure to explain specifically how both of these bills had an effect on the specific movement and what about them was so important. Good luck!

  • Michaela,
    I think the primary thing you should focus on, if you choose to use these two bills (and I don’t think there’s any glaring reason you shouldn’t) is that one bill is primarily concerned with the curbing of racial violence, while the other is about self-government. How prominent are these two issues in the respective literatures? Knowing you and your affection for legal studies, I think that your topic is more worth keeping than your precise thesis, but I think with some tweaking and attention to the specific overarching interests of your primary texts, you can very much construct an argument to demonstrate the concerns of the underrepresented (although, I think that attempting to demonstrate absence of voices through literature is problematizing, as it indicates a need for a double negative. The absence must be present in the literature as well, otherwise its presence indicates the presence of those voices of the time. Feel free to contact me if that didn’t make sense!)

  •   Professor Seiler
    December 8th, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Michaela–The change to education is in effect, yes?

  • Yes! Sorry I am just seeing this comment now. I made the change about education after I wrote this post

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