I’ve finally settled on a topic: mourning dress in early nineteenth century America.
Surprisingly, this is not as depressing as it first appears! I’ve found that most of the bereaved tend to look for hope and solace in the midst of their despair. Many of the images I’ve found so far are actually very colorful and set in a peaceful place such as a cemetery or a bedroom. I think that working with the actual primary source material available at the AAS library reminds me that I’m writing about real people and real emotions. To hold the expression of their grief is a powerful thing and I hope I can reflect that in my paper.
I’m excited to share some of my primary source material with the rest of the class on Wednesday. It was fascinating to see my colleagues’ primary sources and to listen to them explain their research topics. I can’t wait to read their work!