THE WRITING PROCESS – ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY SAMPLE
Following is an example of an annotated bibliography for a research paper that I did for a Graduate level Chaucer class. I am offering it as an example so that you can see what the differences are from beginning, freshman level annotated bibliographies to when your research becomes a bit more involved. This is not meant to be intimidating in any way, it is meant to show you how useful annotated bibliographies can be when your research becomes more focused and specific to highly developed topics, as they will when you progress into your upper division and Graduate courses. This example only has eight entries as the paper was only fifteen pages or so. This is also limited to the articles that were actually used in the paper. I had more entries for other articles that were strong that I ended up not using. I also did not have an annotated bibliography entry for every article that I researched and read. For every one entry, I find that I read and reject three or four articles during the research project. You will note that my entries are a lot longer than what is being asked of you at a freshman level. Part of that is because of my own desire to have as many details as possible since I was interacting with a large amount of articles. The other part of it is that annotated bibliographies in higher classes are expected to have more information and details. You will also note that I include quotes and citations. This is to help me find the sections and evidence that I was most interested in so that I would not have to go looking for it later. When you have articles that are twenty-five plus pages, it is very helpful. Again, an annotated bibliography is a research tool. It is meant to help you in the research process, not just to satisfy an arbitrary assignment from an instructor. When you are writing a paper over the course of a semester, it helps tremendously to keep your thoughts and research in order. Let me know if I can explain anything more!
Heng, Geraldine. “The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages I: Race Studies,
Modernity, and the Middle Ages.” Literature Compass 8/5 (2011): 315-331. Print.
According to the University of Texas College of Liberal Arts website, Ms. Heng is an Associate Professor of English and Comparative Middle Eastern Studies. This article is peer-reviewed and the first of two discussing the perception of race in the Middle Ages.
In this article, Heng is challenging traditional scholarly perceptions of race relations in Western medieval Europe. She “questions the widely held belief in canonical race theory that ‘race’ is a category without purchase before the modern era” (315), citing examples from contemporary literature of the time that establish differences between those who qualify as “white” and those who were “other.” Heng argues that modern scholars see the idea of race as strictly a phenomenon of modern times because the word did not exist as such in the Middle Ages. She feels it is important to use the word in reference to the historical milieu even though they did not so that we can identify the events of the past with those of the present and see them for what they are and what they represent (322).
This is important in order to develop a new understanding of the past and perceptions of others in that time, to draw the parallels to today, and allows that understanding to be present as we move to the future.
Hoose, Adam L. “Francis of Assisi’s Way of Peace? His Conversion and Mission to Egypt.”
Catholic Historical Review 96:3 (Jul. 2010): 449-469. Print.
At the time of publication of this article, Adam Hoose was a doctoral candidate in medieval history at St. Louis Univeristy. An earlier version of this article was presented at the Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2008.
As he examines the life of St. Francis of Assisi, Hoose suggests in this essay that contrary to what may be deduced by Christian records of the Middle Ages, the experience of Christians in the Muslim world was not as polarized as the records would appear to like readers to believe. Hoose cites hagiographies of Francis as evidence that “Muslim rulers, who categorized Christian missionaries as either insane or blasphemous, often expelled the Christians for the first offense and then executed them for repeating the violation” (468). Hence, they were not intolerant murderers who beheaded Christians at first sight, nor were they awed by the gospel and anxious to convert. In his discussion of St. Francis, Hoose cites the political milieu of the time when Francis approached and attempted to convert the sultan al-Kamil. With an army of Crusaders close by and a truce on the line, the sultan had to ignore Francis’s assaults upon Islam. Rather than claiming a near victory for Christianity, Hoose says that “scholars should not attribute Francis’s survival to the sultan’s willingness to listen to a message of peace and conversion but rather to his desire to establish an uneasy but necessary peace with the Christians” (467). Hoose therefore challenges scholars to read hagiographies with their circumstances in mind in order to obtain a clear and more objective view of their subjects. This approach can also be applied to other forms of medieval literature, as I wish to illustrate in my paper.
Khanmohamadi, Shurin. “Casting a ‘Sideways Glance’ at the Crusades: The Voice of the Other
in Joinville’s Vie de Saint Louis.” Exemplaria 22.3 (Fall 2010): 177-99. Print.
Khanmohamadi is an Assistant Professor of Comparative and World Literature at San Francisco State University. She examines Jean de Joinville’s Vie de Saint Louis for its qualities as a work of cultural relativism during the Seventh Crusade.
She harvests cross-cultural dialogue from the text that “work to subvert or cast a ‘sideways glance,’ in Mikhail Bakhtin’s terms, upon official Latin Christian viewpoints upon the Muslim other” (179). Rather than understanding the work according to its Christian European view, attention is paid to what is beneath it in the voice of the “other.” That is, the Muslims that Joinville came into contact with and recorded, at times in such detail as to use direct quotes. This ethnographic approach to reading the text allows the voice of both sides to be heard and allows the idea that there was more tolerance and understanding that existed between the two sides than the “official” record might imply.
This article will provide the main theoretical application throughout my own paper; namely, Bahktin’s “sideways glance” at literature in order to look beyond what is written to discover, or at least suggest, another perspective of Muslim-Christian relations in the Middle Ages that is independent of the records of the Catholic Church.
Lewis, Celia M. “History, Mission, and Crusade in the Canterbury Tales.” The Chaucer Review 42:4 (2008): 353-382. Print.
Dr. Lewis is an Assistant Professor of English at Louisiana Tech University. Among other things, Lewis’s research interests include medieval frame narratives, Chaucer, and Arthurian literature.
Lewis’s essay examines several “site[s] of Muslim-Christian contact in the Canterbury Tales” (353), which include the “Knight’s Tale,” the “Monk’s Tale,” and the “Man of Law’s Tale.” Her interest is in the effects of the Crusades, specifically the Alexandria Crusade as it was a recent campaign at the time of the writing of Canterbury Tales. Her analysis uses the “sideways glance” technique to reveal the way that popular texts of the time reinforced the hegemony of the church, whereas in reality there were those who held moral reservations and regrets concerning the Crusades.
In consideration of those at the time who did not feel that Crusade contradicted the peaceful teachings of Christ, Lewis also examines these three Tales with the suggestion that they might have provided a “significant, uncomfortable glance in a mirror where Christians drawn to violence by faith might find reflected their Muslim counterparts” (354). With regard to the “Man of Law’s Tale,” Custance is examined as an idealized, if not unrealistic image of Christian behavior and faith, one that serves the self-serving goals of the Church at the time. The Sultaness is then examined in contrast as a woman who was doing no more than Custance, which was to support and defend the religion that she ascribed to. The story, as with the Crusades themselves, Lewis argues, give cause for contemporary readers to question the Crusades given that the West suffered great losses with no gains in victory, which undermines the infallible, omnipotent image of their god and religion purported by the church hegemony that instigated and justified the Crusades in the first place.
This article provides information regarding perceptions of Muslims within Chaucer’s work, which I will carry forward into my discussion of “Othering” and applying the “sideways glance” to such literature.
Lynch, Kathryn L. “Storytelling, Exchange, and Constancy: East and West in Chaucer’s ‘Man of Law’s Tale.’” The Chaucer Review 33:4 (1999): 409-422. Print.
Dr. Lynch is a Professor of English at Wellesley College. She specializes in Middle English Literature, Chaucer, Medieval cross-cultural studies, and Medievalism in modern culture and society, among other things.
Lynch’s article examines how Chaucer creates and reinforces the “othering” of the Muslims and the Northumbrians in the “Man of Law’s Tale.” She argues that in doing so, “Chaucer’s main concern in the tale is not to scapegoat an alien religious tradition but rather to use cultural difference as a way of talking about larger issues of freedom and constraint in storytelling” (410). She feels that Chaucer was well aware of the “Orientalist” literature of the time, and had taken its perspective and attitudes into consideration. She examines the images of the East and its people that Chaucer presents, calling attention to its assumptions and also the information that was not known or not considered by the authors that were the sources of Chaucer’s writing. Chaucer, she argues, did have this information in mind and used the assumptions of contemporary literature and the images that they created in order to expose them.
As with Lewis’s article, this essay provides information related specifically to the works of Chaucer and the specific Tale that I have chosen to examine. She also identifies “Othering” in the Man of Law’s Tale and provides information and arguments regarding Chaucer’s motives in presenting this Tale in the format that he did.
MacEvitt, Christopher. “Martyrdom and the Muslim World through Franciscan Eyes.” The Catholic Historical Review 97:1 (Jan. 2011): 1-23. Print.
Dr. MacEvitt is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Dartsmouth College. This is a peer-reviewed article that was presented in an alternate versions at the “Remembering the Crusades” conference at Fordham University and the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium, both in 2009.
Paralleling Hoose’s article, MacEvitt examines the role of Franciscan records of the works of the martyrs in the 13th century. He is interested in what they say because of their role of shaping Western perceptions of Muslims, martyrs, and Christians in Muslim lands. He is also interested in what they do not say about these groups because, when examined against other records, it reveals a different dynamic in Christian-Muslim relations than what is purported by the Franciscans. In particular, he discusses the role and image of the martyr and how their reputations took precedence over those who proselytized:
The retelling of Franciscan martyrdoms was, in a sense, a way to twist the knob and heighten the difference between Christian and Muslim. Franciscan narratives about martyrdom thus not only affirmed Islam as ‘other’ but also effectively rendered resident Christians as part of an unalterable Islamic world. . . (19)
The records of the Franciscans shaped Western perceptions of the Islamic people, reinforcing them as a violent enemy not to be understood or converted by peaceful means, but one to be approached with aggression in the hopes that their reaction to insult would usher an individual to the deified status of a martyr.
This article is useful to my project as it is an example of the “sideways glance” being applied to the hagiography of St. Francis of Assisi. It shows that the technique is effective based on the conclusions that he draws based on his analysis.
Murray, Alan V. “The Saracens of the Baltic: Pagan and Christian Lithuanians in the Perception
of English and French Crusaders to Late Medieval Prussia.” Journal of Baltic Studies
41:4 (2010): 413-429. Print.
Dr. Murray is the Editorial Director of the International Medieval Bibliography and the Programme Director for the MA in Medieval Studies and the Senior Lecturer in Medieval Studies at the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds. He is also a contributing historian for the Resources for Studying the Crusades at Queen Mary University of London.
In this article, Murray traces usage of the word “Saracen” throughout English and French Medieval literature in the 14th and 15th centuries as a reference to enemies of Crusaders in Lithuania rather than in reference to Muslims or Arabs as the etymology and definition of the word applies. After citing extended use throughout Western Christian literature, Murray argues that the word “Saracen” had been so prolifically used in the vernacular that it was used again to convey the image of an enemy that justified Crusades and war against non-Christian Lithuanians:
Crusaders’ perceptions of their Lithuanian enemies were probably influenced by existing literary traditions. Works of chivalric epic and romance were part and parcel of the upbringing and recreational life of the knight in France, England, and elsewhere, and, in all likelihood, their effects were further strengthened in the course of the campaigns against the Lithuanians. (425)
Thus, the popular culture of the day was adopted by the knights to group themselves with the heroes of literature, stories, and songs who battled Saracens in the previous Crusades. This, in turn, reinforced the stereotype and the idea of Lithuanians as “other,” even if they had converted to Christianity.
This article is useful to my article as it discusses how the term “Saracen” was applied to peoples and cultures who were not of the Muslim community. It exemplifies how far Western Europeans would go in the practice of “Othering” and the reasons for their doing so.
Valtrová, Jana. “Beyond the Horizons of Legends: Traditional Imagery and Direct Experience in
Medieval Accounts of Asia.” Numen: International Review for the History of Religions
57 (2010): 154-185. Print.
Dr. Valtrová is an Assistant Professor in the Department for the Study of Religions at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. Valtrová’s essay discusses how authors of Medieval travel writings of the 13th and 14th centuries reconciled preconceived images of Asia with the reality that they encountered. Specific attention is paid to the Franciscans Carpini, Rubruck, Montecorvino and Odoric and their treatment of the popular subjects and images of the East of the earthly paradise (finding Eden), the mythical empire of Prester John, and human monsters. Valtrová compares and contrasts each of their works, noting in particular the perception that these writers have of the Asian “other” and their largely objective approach to the recording of their observations of the people and places that they encountered. Valtrová also argues that by allowing objectivity in their writings, the voice of the “other” was included in their journals and therefore played a role in the authors’ and in readers’ later perceptions of Asia and its people. Because of these encounters and the way they were recorded, Valtrová states:
I believe that the process of familiarizing Asia that we can see unfold in the reports of medieval missionaries should not be seen as some competition between direct experience and traditional legends, but rather as a significant shift from contemplations of an unknown Other towards the study and description of a difference. (181)
Valtrová’s article is useful in my analysis as it provides evidence for the perceptions of the travel writers of the Middle Ages who came into contact with Asian (Eastern) lands and cultures. The analysis adds the information that the voice of the “Other” was included in some writings which therefore assists in applying the “sideways glance” to their writings. In this case, a direct approach may be applied, rather an a sideways one, which provides evidence for perceptions other than those presented in the “official” records of the Church.