I have a tendency to get myself very lost in “rabbit holes” on the internet – I can spend hours clicking from one page to the next and the next – so I sort of thought this would be a terrible assignment for me before I even began. I have also used the Research Guides before, strictly for finding databases and at times when I knew exactly what sort of information I was looking for, but being familiar with the site allowed me to choose what sounded interesting, without thinking too much about where it would take me. Once I got to the Research Guides page, I clicked on the International Studies tab. One guide near the end stuck out: Unique Collections on the UM Campus.
Did you know we have an amulet collection? It’s at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, which is unfortunately closed for renovations (I couldn’t find if the amulets are on display elsewhere until the building reopens). However, I didn’t see this helping me with my capstone project in any way, so I backtracked a bit to look through the library’s special collections.
I found that there’s a culinary archive of American cookbooks and related materials from the past 400 years. The archive’s description mentioned the strong connection between food and culture, which I find very interesting. Still, I was unconvinced I had found my topic, so I went back to the Research Guide and clicked on Social Sciences. Lo and behold, there is a category on Food Studies. It gives suggestions on how to research food technology, culture, history, and even government regulation. I started thinking of about a million different ways I could explore food in my capstone project. Although I did not come up with any concrete ideas, and I still have no idea what I’ll be doing for this project, food seems like a good place to start.