Blog Post 8

On Monday of week 8 we went over Miles chapter 3. We spoke about how Clarinda and shoe boots were married in Cherokee terms. It was interesting how Clarinda and Doll were able to look for their similarities through captivity despite being in very different situations. We spoke about how white women were concerned about their husbands having sexual relationships with women who were enslaved. Theda Perdue was brought up with her book Cherokee Women because it was the first book of its kind. In the European culture bloodline is traced through the males whereas in the Cherokee society bloodline is traced through the women. In the Cherokee tradition women were allowed to have much freer sexual relationships before finding marriage whereas at the time Europeans shamed those who had many relationships prior to marriage. We spoke about how traumatic motherhood was for enslaved women and how if they gave birth sometimes they resented the child because the child represented the violence that the mother endured and often times this dynamic of bringing a child into a world of slavery often led to many child deaths because the mother did not want their child to come into a life of that kind of torture. In regard to the North American Slave Database I pondered, “Was celebrating Christmas a morale raising event for slaves and if so, did slave owners try and prevent it because of this?”. Once I chose a few articles to feed into Voyant I was able to choose some keywords to be highlighted in all of my articles. Before even reading these articles, I was able to see some rather large connections between words used in different articles. I saw that when “Christ” and “Moral” was talked about in articles they also spoke about labor. From this, one could conclude that perhaps if slaves were celebrating Christ they were often met with labor. I noticed it took a bit for me to get comfortable with the program but once I did, I was able to draw patterns through texts much quicker than if I had read through each one. However, the downfall of this is perhaps all this was, was a pattern in the texts between words and not have any meaning. If one relies too much on programs to do their research perhaps, they could draw the wrong conclusions or miss big information. However, this program could locate which documents contained which words which would allow you to know where to look, and you wouldn’t be able to do that without the program unless you feathered through each word in each document.

One thought on “Blog Post 8

  1. I really enjoyed reading about your thoughts on the historical experiences of Clarinda and Doll and the notion of belonging in the Cherokee community. One term that I found to be most descriptive of Doll’s position was “intimate outsider.” Although she and Shoe Boots had a family together, her enslaved status AND her inability to be a Cherokee citizen meant that she had minimal accessibility within the Cherokee community.

    I also enjoyed learning about your research question and workflow in Voyant to analyze the NASD sources. I’m interested in how the connection between religion and labor might raise additional questions about the prevalence of faith as a key to survival and perseverance. Thank you for sharing these interpretations and analyses!

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