What’s outside the frame

Maps are an important part of the ephemera of the RASRL collection. The maps were, as far as we know, created by students to accompany research papers. Sometimes there is a map with no paper; sometimes there is a paper with no map. Standing alone, then, they require interpretation and invite speculation about what they…

William Carlson Smith and the Early RASRL Writers

During the 1926-27 academic year, William Carlson Smith joined the UH faculty as a visiting member. Smith was a good fit for UH’s Sociology Department. In the 1920s, Smith worked as a researcher on the Survey of Race Relations with Robert Park investigating “relations between Orientals and whites on the Pacific Coast” (Tentative Findings of…

Who Was Zonita Owens?

It’s difficult to avoid getting caught up in the details of the lives of the students who wrote the papers in the RASRL collection. It could be a compelling narrative that is particularly well written or the careful delineation of feelings or reactions that makes a paper memorable.  Sometimes it is simple curiosity:  who are you…

Margaret Lam, again

As we’ve said in previous posts, Margaret Lam was a bit of a character.  She looms large in the RASRL collection possibly because she made her presence felt.  She was vocal, and in spite of her size cast a long shadow over the RASRL research in the 1930s.   Reading correspondence by and about her,…