Monday, March 5, 2012

MA Chapter 2

My MA in History i am studying with the Open University has now reached its second phase. After concentrating on historiography and source analysis we are now moving onto studying various themes in history in greater depth. We have a choice of themes and i have just started the theme on Urban history and will probably go onto studying Industrialization, Poverty and welfare and finally The role of families.

As we are now starting to get into the nitty gritty so to speak i also need to start thinking seriously about my topic for my extended essay later in the year, which will form the basis of my dissertation next year (i think). I've had a few vague thoughts about what my extended essay will be on but i think its time to think in more concrete terms.

I want Erdington to be a focus for it, mostly as thats where i've lived for the last 36 years and is on my doorstep, though in any event Erdington is a good place to study having a long history from rural farmlands to industrialization to the post-industrialized urban decay of today. I also want to involve the canals as i am obsessed with inland waterways obviously...

Perhaps i can research how Erdington along the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal has changed over the last few centuries. A rich topic i think which can include former industrial icons like Fort Dunlop, surviving industrial sites like the Jaguar factory and industrial sites now lost. I could even mention the old airfield, the last remnant of which is of course next to the towpath...

Its not the only idea i've had, another one would be to research the tramway that used to run into Stratford-upon-Avon and how the new communication changed people's lives. Harder to study maybe but rather more scenic.
Cincinatti, former large scale industrial unit canal side in Erdington now ripe for redevelopment and reuse?

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