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GEOG 3003 - Cultural Geography: Research Proposal

Research Proposal

Cultural Geography of the Family

The class project involves constructing a historical cultural geography of your family. In this paper you will have the opportunity to explore the migratory history of some of your ancestors while analyzing key cultural geographical concepts.

For this project, you will trace the migration record for the ancestors of one of your parents.* The easiest way to approach this project is to choose either your maternal or paternal lines, start with your oldest living relative, and follow the line back as far as you can. You may use interviews with family members as a primary source, however, you will be required to supplement this information with public records and written records as available through the resources linked in this guide. You may (but are not required to) use commercially available services to help map out your family history – but please be wary of services that do not provide verifiable and specific information and will not wholly substitute for academic research. Much of the public record information available on these websites can be accessed via free trial or free of charge on government websites.

*If you would rather not explore your own family history for any reason, contact me directly – I will provide you with a person to use as a proxy for your project.

The first step in this project is the research proposal. For your research proposal, you will need to provide the following information (the prose portion of this assignment should be no less than 750 words).

  1. A brief description of the individuals making up either your maternal, paternal, or proxy line (go back as many generations as you can) using either family history or historical source (both require citation).
  2. A brief general summary of the historical and geographical background (for example: country(s) of origin, religious identification, economic) of your maternal, paternal, or proxy line.
  3. An annotated preliminary bibliography of at least six sources, listing personal family informants, official primary sources (documents, records), and academic sources you believe will be useful in your final paper. Each source citation should be followed by a two sentence description of the source.
    1. At least TWO unique should cover historical background and come from credible academic databases or print sources.
    2. At least ONE source should be quantitative in nature (for example: migration rates, statistical data re: economic climate, etc.) and come from a peer-reviewed journal or other reliable academic source.
    3. All sources must include full bibliographic citations in APA format (see the Citation Guide or ask a librarian for assistance).