Tuesday, 19 October 2010

FYP: Documenting Migrant Life in 1930's America

My FYP is an American Studies FYP because it deals with an important decade in America's history (the Great Depression of the 1930s) with a specific focus on the American people.

I’ve chosen to focus my FYP on a particular theme of the FSA (Farm Security Agency) Photography Program - the documentation of the displaced migrant worker’s
journey; from leaving their hometowns, to life on the road, to their prospective destinations. I plan to address the history of the Great Depression, including the New Deal and President Roosevelt’s work towards alleviating the consequences of economic crisis and collapse, paying particular attention to how the FSA’s Photography Program affected the ideology of the American Dream.

Obviously, one of the main sources that I will be drawing upon will be the FSA photographs themselves, such as Dorothea Lange's work (namely Ditched, Stalled and Stranded and Migrant Mother), but I will also examine the representation of the migrant families in documentary prose (predominantly James Agee and Walker Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men), literature (Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath), memoirs and letters (Down & Out in the Great Depression, edited by Robert S. McElvaine) and film (The Plow That Broke the Plains and John Ford’s Grapes of Wrath adaptation.)

My work can be defined in terms of American Studies quite easily, as it explicitly concerns American history, culture (media) and society - all of which we have studied continuously these past three years.

1 comment:

  1. With photos speaking for themselves, as the sayings goes, ‘a picture paints a thousand words’, sums up your focus for the FYP.
    With the evidence that you will gain from sources like Dorothea Lange etc, it will answer the questions how did they really copy and overcome what can be called as one of the darkest ages of in American history.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.