Use this guide to get started with your research for ENGL 432: Eco-Modernism
Your research assignment for ENGL 432 asks you to identify and engage with one or more secondary sources (not literary criticism) that are related to an environmental topic of your choosing and roughly contemporaneous (think 30 years or less) to your chosen literary text.
This page highlights several broad strategies you can try for identifying both important topics from other disciplines of interest to modernists and the secondary source(s) you will use in your analysis.
If you're not sure yet what you're interested in or you can't decide where to focus, you might want to just browse through journals of the time to see what catches your eye.
Collins Library provides access to many journals from the modernist era and the Modernist Journals Project (linked below) can connect you to the full text of many others. Consider using a resource such as Literary Research and British Modernism to help you identify influential titles and then search for them using Primo's journal search.
JSTOR contains thousands of full-text articles from journals across the sciences, humanities, and social sciences, and in particular is known for providing online access to extensive archives of back issues of journals. As such, it is particularly helpful for historical research.
Tips for using JSTOR: Use Advanced Search and limit features whenever possible. Subset limits, date limits*, subject searches, etc. -- are all useful time savers. Search tips for other databases also apply in JSTOR.
The Isis Cumulative Bibliography is a predecessor to the History of Science, Technology & Medicine database. The volumes available for browsing here are categorized bibliographical entries that appeared in annual or semi-annual bibliographies that were published as part of the journal Isis between volume 1 (1913) and volume 66 (1975). Print editions of the ISIS Cumulative Bibliography are also available at Collins Library.
Isis is divided into several sections. People and institutions as subjects of study are simply arranged alphabetically by name, with citations listed beneath each entry. Subjects, periods, and civilizations are arranged in a subject classification. You'll need to think more broadly than when you search other databases.
Collins Library provides access to the full archives of the Times of London, going back to 1785. Historical newspapers can be useful for identify important topics and events, locating book reviews, and more.
Summit Borrowing allows you to get books from the other libraries that belong to the same consortium of academic libraries in the Pacific Northwest. Instead of just one library, it's like you've got 39! Books take 3-5 working days to arrive, at which point they will be held for you at the circulation desk for one week, where you can pick them up with your ID card. You may keep Summit books for 6 weeks; there are no renewals. You can see your Summit requests by clicking the 'My Account' link when logged in to Primo.
Interlibrary Loan is good for both books and articles, and allows you to borrow materials from anywhere in the world! Most articles arrive within 3-4 days, while books can take up to two weeks. Look for the "request item from interlibrary loan" button or "Interlibrary Loan" link in Primo.
1. Mine the bibliographies and footnotes in other secondary sources. You may find one secondary source that is not quite right for your project; however, it may cite another scholarly source that would be just right!
2. When searching Primo or a database, pay attention to the subject headings in your results. You can use the vocabulary or click to do a new search for that heading. You'll be surprised at what you discover this way!
3. Select the best sources, not just the most convenient sources. This may mean requesting a book from SUMMIT and/or an article from ILLiad, both of which take about two to five days to arrive.