Thursday, February 23, 2012

Methods Practice #2

Interview with Dr. Roberts:

Expatriates in Paris
Pratice of Diaspora by Brent Hayes Edwards
New Negro Era - Harlem Renaissance (french context)
Langston Hughes
Claude McKay - Banjo
Pan-African Conferences 1919 in France (also 1921, 1923 - French session)
W.E.B. DuBois - Biography of Race (David Lewis)
     Fight for Equality & Am. Century
Ida Gibbs Hunt - secretary for DuBois, lived in France
     Parallel worlds by Adele Logan Alexander
Josephine Baker

Expanded Notes:
Went in and told Dr. Roberts about some of my project ideas then asked him what he knew about Af.Am. expatriates in Paris.  He commenced to list off the books I should look into about African American expatriates in Paris, and also mentioned the Pan-African Conferences that took place soon after the Great War ended.  I asked him what he knew about the African American musicians, but he said he didn't know much, and then mentioned Josephine Baker, of whom I was already aware.  He went back to discussing some other African American women in Paris at the time, like Ida Gibbs Hunt who he seemed rather enamored with, and I'm pretty set on looking her up and finding out what she was involved in.

Claude McKay was a pretty big deal in his mind, and so I read a bit of Banjo, which oddly enough has more to do with music than one might expect, as the main character is a musician who seems to be wandering around France looking for work.  Particularly Marsailles (?).  Anyway, I know McKay also spent some time in Paris.

He emailed me a few hours later with a PDF "Negroes in France"  An interesting document which has changed my topic a bit.  It got me interested in the idea of looking at how French culture has changed and influence American expatriates, since we claim to hold many of the same values as the French, and yet these African Americans argue that the French define them differently, and that the American influence on France in the 50s was changing how they were treated as African-Americans.  I do want to see how France has changed these people, and how these people perhaps changed France (including how Anglo-American values changed France, but particularly in the 1920s-30s.  He's interested in my project which is great, but I feel that perhaps he's more interested in the literature side of things than the music, which is why I'm not sure how he'll feel about possibly mentoring me.

I'd like to do a follow-up interview with him on how he feels about those things written about the city, the music, and the musicians soon.

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