My qualifications for this field study include:
Having taken French language courses (101, 102, 201, 202, 211 and 321), I have an intermediate understanding of French. I will therefore have no trouble getting around as I can read the language and understand simple conversations. I hope and expect that living in the country will further help me with comprehension and fluidity in the language.
Current enrollment in a Field Study Preparation Course which not only requires continuous research and reading in my chosen interest of study and a honing of that research, but continuous reflection on my chosen project and extensive writing about the preparation I am going through to enter a new culture. I think many of the topics we have discussed in class including observation, participant observation, and interviewing probes and how to ask questions will all be very helpful, even within an academic setting as I search for answers to my understanding of French culture and how it influenced my subjects.
My completion of my major classes for American Studies which have required me to take particular American Studies courses in the methodology and ‘conversation’ of American Studies which I can apply to my research. Other course I have taken include an emphasis on African American culture, American culture, and an extensive understanding of American history. I have also taken a History of France class, which has helped me considerably in my understanding of French culture and the circumstances the African American expatriates I will be studying lived through.
A profound and deep interest in my research: I am not doing this research to further my degree, or doing this research because it has to be done in any way, but because I am genuinely interested in this subject matter. I think this genuine interest, shared by many of my peers, will help me in my research.
My limitations for this field study include:
I haven’t taken any African American literature courses or a course in Jazz, two classes I wish I could have under my belt before embarking on this field study. I also wish I had a better grounding in Urban Studies, though I know one of my courses while in the field will help supplement my lack of an Urban Studies background.
I have the bases for being conversationally fluent in French, but I am NOT conversationally fluent in French, something of which would greatly benefit my study. Whatever I acquire on this study could be largely aided by a more complete ability to converse and read in French.