Brainstorming and outlining

[Ignore the date on this post, but the sequence is accurate–I’m posting this retroactively as a comment on the writing process, rather than as I actually worked.]

I’ve been reading over my photocopies and marking them up as I get ready to write. Pencil marks on the actual text, trying to color-code marginalia (red for things that strike me but I’m not sure how to use, blue for obvious things I still need to point out, green for interesting pieces I think I can put in an argument I’ve outlined below), and listing the big categories/ideas those notes go into (and keeping a pristine copy to one side in case I want/need to start over or take a different approach–that way I don’t have to wait for ILL to process a request). Then I tried to organize those categories into a logical order, which appears in the outline below. I also kept up a Google Doc with random thoughts that occurred to me, so I could keep track of them even when I was away from my materials and computer. Writing won’t ever be “quick,” I suppose, but I am pretty sure this direction will work and that I’ve thought through this enough that I won’t have major delays in writing.


I. Summary of Nangenutch’s assault on Mary

II. Comment on sources

III. Historiography–mainly Block (sexual power) and Strong (Montauketts and Nangenutch), but also Fischer/Morgan (personal agency and individual desire)

IV. Preview/argument

V. Montaukett background/status in 1668

VI. Nangenutch status–dual/duel identity

VII. Elements of sexual power exercised in the assault, creating/defining consent

VII. Earlier offenses (theft, assault) and challenge to English patriarchy

VIII. Indigenous pieces–justice, responsibility, rationale

IX. Escape/warning out/ban

X. Reverberations on Montaukett community, larger significance, racial implications


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