Reflection Four (Ben)

My project so far has been a series of experimentations to see what data would work both best for my research question and for the approach that i am trying to use. From the outset by project was too broad and I had to struggle to define many different aspects of my research in order in order to proceed.

Firs off I had to reflect on a more specific question that I would be attempting to answer through my project. I knew that I wanted to map the migration of Jewish population from Iberia to the Ottoman Empire after the Spanish Inquisition but I had to determine what my particular argument was within that topic. Furthermore, I had to resolve a logical reason to present my argument on a mapping visualization. In other words, I had to find the proper data set that would fit a mapping project and this meant finding specific dates and location that I could track linearly in order to display the Jewish migration significantly. Once I determined that a set of specific locations and dates would make up my data I set out to find these, however, this endeavor proved tougher than I originally imagined. Most secondary sources do not supply such information but discuss more broad trends and or ranges of years. As a result I searched through relevant secondary sources to find primary sources that contained the information I was looking for. The problem here is that most primary sources present either a specific date or a location, but rarely both. Also, if I attempt to limit my data to these primary the stories that I can tell in my mapping are limited as a result. Because of my data still being undefined I still cannot determine what digital tool I am going to use or even If I am going to stick with my original idea of mapping.

Despite this obstacle, my investigation into primary sources has resulted in me finding a possible alternative data set. DaƱa Gracia Mendes was Jewish woman who converted to Christianity in the face of the inquisition. She married a merchant and then proceed to travel throughout Europe. She is remembered as a Jew who overcame the adversity of religious intolerance and, despite technically converting, remained close to her Jewish heritage. Her journey takes her from Iberia to other locations in Europe including venice and finally ended up in Constantinople. Although her route and story are uncommon among most Jews of the time, I could use her travels as a basis to discuss larger trends of Jewish migration that started in Iberia and ended in the Ottoman Empire. Whether I stick to my original idea and moderately reconfigure my data or if I change to a somewhat different approach is still u

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