Geography of Empire: Update 7

I have now been back in the United States for about three weeks, and I’ve spent a lot of time writing, writing, and more writing! In the time since my last post, I wrote and submitted a rough draft to my advisor. During that writing process, I was happily surprised to see how my data and thoughts came together into a thesis and structure that I had not expected at the beginning of (or yet during) my fieldwork. I have often been told that research questions and theses frequently morph and change based on new information found, but this was perhaps the first time I really experienced that myself. I am now finishing up my final draft! My advisor’s notes helped me look at some of my sections of information in a new light, which has even brought me to a few new conclusions within my broader argument. Overall, I feel that this experience has a taught me a lot, and while much of what I learned was about elements of Amsterdam’s landscape that have been directly influenced by Dutch colonial history, I also learned a lot of valuable lessons about the research process that has certainly prepared me for future research and how to accept and approach changes that occur along the way. My summary post will provide an overview of my approach to the research and some of my main conclusions.