I can’t say I’ve ever done a “rabbit hole” process to brainstorm ideas about topics, but it was certainly an interesting experience. I started out looking into my comfortable field of study, English Language and Literature within the Humanities subset. One thing I was particularly drawn to was the Online Journals section. I was completely unaware of the fact that U of M has digital access to nearly 1,000 (for “English Language and Literature” alone) different publications and makes them universally available to students. There was also a pretty impressive section dedicated to books that have been added to the library’s resources.
I also happened to stumble upon an online exhibit about the significance of colors in mapmaking while poking around the “General and Comparative Literature” section, which actually turned out to be really interesting. Considering I have no background knowledge of mapmaking, it was cool getting to learn about the history of maps and the use of color in making maps.
When I finally decided to incorporate another one of my academic interests by searching through International News, I discovered archived PDFs of New York Times issues dating back to THE YEAR 1851 (which I thought was pretty incredible, considering I didn’t even know that the NYT has been around for that long).
Overall, I was a bit confused by this process and didn’t feel like it necessarily inspired me to think of any topics for my work for this class; however, knowing that I have complete access to every existing issue of the New York Times is simultaneously inspiring and terrifying in the context of picking something to write about, particularly if I decide to end up writing in a periodical or magazine format.