Category Archives: History and Current Issues

What have I written? Why does it matter? — Ethan

It’s the end of the semester, and I have 47 pages of polished writing. What have I shown?

I believe I’ve given an example of a mutually positive relationship between the U.S. government and a mainstream print media outlet, due to which the public reaction to a foreign policy event was to some degree determined by the coverage given by the print media outlet. I have demonstrated the connection between the foreign policy aims of American foreign policy leaders during and after the Six-Days’ War and those advocated and legitimized by the print coverage of the War by the New York Times. Further, I have explicated the symbiotic relationship between sources of information thought to be authoritative and credible, and the disseminators of that information, in order to substantiate the logical basis for that relationship in this specific instance of foreign policy. Continue reading

Conclusion for Ancient Women – Bella

As I am finishing up my book, I am beginning to weave together all of the different and corresponding parts of the two societies of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. I have been trying to address this in my closing chapter, but this chapter has been the most challenging part of the book to write. I am having trouble putting all this research to a close, and my first paragraph of my closing chapter reads as followed:

“The civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece show how different women were treated in the Ancient World in these societies. Continue reading

Overview of Richard II’s Affinity -Gwyneth

Since I am writing my paper on the royal affinity under Richard II, I thought I would use this blog post to provide an overview of this body, based on the most comprehensive study available – Chris Given-Wilson’s The Royal Household and the King’s  Affinity. In my previous blog posts on bastard feudalism (x x), I discussed the practice of retaining lower-ranking members of the gentry which emerged among the nobility in the 14th century. Continue reading

Bastard Feudalism Part II -Gwyneth

In the time since my last blog post on McFarlanian bastard feudalism, I have been able to get access to McFarlane’s seminal 1945 essay on the subject (a big thank you to the librarians). Additionally, I managed to finish P. R. Coss’s lengthy 1989 essay “Bastard Feudalism Revised”, in which Coss provides a thorough critique of McFarlane’s ideas and offers a new framework for understanding the bastard feudal system. Thus, I plan to use this blog post to discuss McFarlane’s ideas a bit more and present some criticisms that have been made of them. Continue reading

Introduction to Ancient Greece – Bella

I am really starting to get into Ancient Greece, which was unexpected. I thought it would be more difficult than Ancient Egypt, but I am realizing how fascinating the Grecian world was. The challenge is that it is more difficult to discuss Greece, because it is comprised of islands and different types of political systems, not just one large kingdom like Ancient Egypt. My notes on Greece are extensive, and I am realizing there was a level of rape culture that was not   prominent in Ancient Egypt. Grecian women were objects, not people, and viewed as such a source of evil that the names of women could not be spoken in public. Continue reading

Bastard Feudalism and the Rise of the Medieval Affinity -Gwyneth


When we think of medieval politics, we think of feudalism, the hierarchical system of obligations by which men of lower status are bound to serve men above them in the so-called “feudal pyramid” made up of peasants, knights, lords, and king. Feudal obligations were rendered by tenants in exchange for hereditary grants of land from the lord of the manor. Ultimately, the king owned all of the kingdom’s land and the highest class of the nobility were those who held their land directly from him.

feudal pyramid

Continue reading

Background to the Reign of Richard II -Gwyneth

Because no historical person or event can be accurately examined outside of its wider context, I thought it would be a good idea to use this blog post to provide some basic information regarding society during the reign of Richard II, with particular emphasis on the world of politics. At the time that Richard became king, England was shaped by two defining events in its recent history: the Black Death and the Hundred Years War. Continue reading

First Draft: Complete — Ethan

It’s a pretty good feeling, staring at page 47 of 47, at a draft that’s . . . rough, admittedly, but that also feels finished, feels completed. My mentor T. Olga has been looking over it this past weekend, and I’m anticipating her feedback and looking forward to refining my writing into a second draft. I’m sticking to my timeline well so far — I met my goal of finishing the first draft by May, and the second and third drafts by the time of my evaluation.

Another piece of my subsequent drafts will be formatting, of course, a different in-text citation style, and graphics. I haven’t had much experience with graphics before, but seeing as I’ve done intense analytical research into newspaper articles, parsing through them for several weeks, it would be useful to the reader if I condensed all that reading into a chart marking the evolution of the angle of the NYT’s coverage. Having done a preliminary ‘X’ chart, this is what the coverage looks like:

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 9.22.47 AM.png

From this, it’s visually clear that the coverage shifts from a description of the conflict itself to a nearly uniform coverage of the diplomatic battle that went on in the UN in the aftermath, with a particular focus on the Soviet and Israeli delegates, Alexsei Kosygin and Abba Eban.

There is also the matter of visualizing the relevant history and foreign policy. I took some inspiration for this from the Gantt chart I created back in sophomore year as part of T. Steve’s Design-Engineering Seminar. It’s meant to be used as an ultra-specific task planner, with flexibility to assign different types of tasks to different people over an indefinite period of time. Here’s how I adapted it for my purposes:

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.21.20 AM.png

Lastly, a quick update on publishing options: there is one for which a submission is due by May 15th, but with everything else going on up until the end of May, I won’t feel ready to submit for publication until the last few weeks of school.


Overall, exciting things all around going into the last month of fine tuning and reworking.



Ça va . . . (part 3) — Ethan

Eight more pages! I’m finished with the entire media section, and started the synthesis of the history and the media narrative. Being at this point in the first draft is a similar feeling to being at the same point in my outline: I can envision the conclusion of my argument, and that’s supremely exciting. So far, this section has been the most fun to organize and structure, mainly because it’s my own — my own argument, that I get to craft to be the strongest it can be.

I’m doing well at listening to my willingness to write at any given time, and writing a few paragraphs here and there as I feel like it, or working through what I’ve written and rearranging points to my argument, and this seems to be how this particular paper wants to be written. Creating content still takes priority, most of the time, but for this section especially from time to time I spend a little bit here and there refining it.

I expect to finish the first draft by the end of the month, and then it’ll be time for T. Olga to sink her teeth into it — her words, not mine.

So it goes . . .



The Beauty of Tangents – Sabrina

I have spent roughly 45% of my time towards this project transcribing interviews….It is one of the hardest and most tedious tasks, especially if your interviews typically run between 30 – 60 minutes. I considered, for a moment, just simply sending my interviewees a list of questions I would like them to answer and having it be simpler

But I quickly shrugged the idea of because of one thing:


Tangents have become the core of my content when I am writing articles. When my interviewees go off on tangents, they are almost always something they are passionate about, or it is story worthwhile. You cannot capture these tangents by sending them a list of questions.

It is through these tangents that I begin to understand someone’s work and passions, and I learn who they are to their core. I get to see them and understand them and relate to them and have a conversation with them.

And though transcribing is…..interesting a living, breathing hell. Without face to face interviews, my content would not be nearly as rich or as vibrant as it is, and it is all thanks to tangents.

Before I wrap up, I just wanted to give you all some updates:

  • Our social media pages are up! You can follow us on Instagram @Project_G.I.R.L and on the Facebook page Project G.I.R.L!
  • We are on track for our goals, including having our website be 75% completed
  • We have created an email as well (!
  • We have met with Westtown Communications (I had a meeting with Anne Burns today) and they have agreed to give us press after our launch
  • On our current team, we have a transcriber, a web designer, a digital artist, and I am currently on a hunt for a social media manager and an editor
  • We are scheduled to have 5 interviews this week!
  • I am remembering to breathe, despite the fact that I am simultaneously elated and panicking

Inspired by putting one foot in front of the other

Sabrina Schoenborn

CEO and Foudner of project G.I.R.L