Snapshots Introduction

Snapshot: a quick, lasting glimpse of some scene, activity, or event.Film rolls We have adopted snapshots as the controlling metaphor, or theme, for Issue 2.1, the first issue of EM-Journal's second year, because each of the five pieces featured captures a momentary perspective, question, or thread of inquiry held by the writer. The issue features writing from ENGL121: Researching the Public Experience, a General Education course taken by first-year students who will soon identify with a great range of academic disciplines across Eastern Michigan's dynamic campus. Generally, projects in ENGL121 adopt research methods ranging from ethnography, which includes site or group observation, recording field notes, developing nuanced descriptions, and at times conducting interviews, to more traditional source-based studies, which includes collecting, reading, annotating, and citing textual resources, such as books and articles.

Essentially, this inclusive approach to research writing—which can be read throughout this issue's contents—accepts that sources are abundant and diverse, discoverable in the library stacks as well as in the world at-large. Consider Athanasios Katrivesis's "Women in Chess," which wonders about the Ann Arbor Chess Club, Where are the women? Katrivesis explores this question earnestly, both by visiting the Club first-hand and also by speculating openly about possible causes for the noticeable gender disparity among chess players. In "Japanese Literature: Effects of War and History," Dustin Maxam looks into the significance of Japanese literature, particularly for learning about culture and history in a time of war. In "DDR Ethnography," Adam Cohen writes about the video game Dance Dance Revolution and the nuances in the community with which its most devoted players identify. Chelsea Smith relies primarily upon textual sources in her researched account, "Depression Affects Everyone," which suggests far-reaching impact of depression on its subjects as well as their families and friends. And in "Blogs as a Manifestation for Those Misrepresented," Oona Friedland examines the implications of blogging practices on mainstream news and also argues that blogs give an important public voice to all who seek their own platform. Each of these pieces reflects a snapshot—click!—of a researching writer actively inquiring into some research question.

Return to the table of contents for 2.1 Snapshots