Print Proposal

For my print project, I would like to analyze blogs or forums for the show “the Pacific” on the HBO website.  Primarily, I would like to find out how much of it references academic work or the primary sources the series was based on.  The show focuses on three main characters who were real soldiers and two of them lived through the war to write memoirs.  I would be interested to see what bloggers are more interested in, the veterans perspectives or the academics’ perspectives.

More generally, I would be looking at what topics are the most popular for the show’s blog.  What do people want to talk about?  Is there a space for WWII veterans themselves to share their stories?  I know there is a section for viewers to share about their grandparents, parents, uncles, etc. experience but is there a space, anywhere on the website where veterans can tell their stories?  If so, is there a space for people to comment on the footage or information they are shown?

In looking at the comments, I would like to look at how much dialogue is taking place between bloggers.  Are people responding individually with no expectation of a response or are they reaching out in response to another post?  What is the purpose of this blog?  How is it fostering discussion of WWII?

The series cannot cover every aspect of the war so looking for comments that critique the show would be interesting.  What parts are they critiquing? Why? What grounds are they opposing a part of the show on?  Having two grandfathers who were in the Pacific, the show portrayed the brutalities they experienced.  There was not one homogenous experience, I acknowledge that, but I would be curious to see if there are any stories shared that contradict the events the show portrayed.

Studying the personality of the bloggers is of interest to me as well.  How do people identify themselves?  In a few of the posts, people identify themselves as history majors or having an interest in history.  How many people do that?  Are there any posts where people identify as not having been that interested in history or this part of history but were brought in by the show?  Many people speak of their families’ veterans with pride, how many people put that in the beginning of their post?

Overall, I would like to evaluate how the post is used to create dialogue about WWII in the Pacific.  Do people talk primarily about the show or do they bring in personal stories to contribute to the existing narrative?  History series have been very successful on HBO, what is it that keeps drawing people in?  Why do people go to the HBO forum to share their stories that they may not have shared or learned about if they had not seen the show?

One Reply to “Print Proposal”

  1. Neat idea, in particular “I would be looking at what topics are the most popular for the show’s blog. What do people want to talk about? ” I imagine that when you engage in this descriptive activity you will end up finding some very interesting things.

    The only part of your proposal that seems a bit lacking is the inclusion of secondary literature. There is a lot of work on public memory and public history, particularly in relation to the WWII. Before you get to far in doing analysis I would suggest looking to this literature for ideas about how your exploration could be informed by extent work.

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