On the Research Process Behind “‘Courage to Do What Is Right’ on Cold War Broadway: Leonard Spigelgass’ A Majority of One.”

February 21, 2017

Written by guest blogger, Seunghyun Hwang.


Seunghyun Hwang

In retrospect, while I was struggling in searching for a dissertation research topic, I had many good opportunities to have productive conversations on post-world war America with my academic adviser and my life mentor, a baby-boomer who remembers the era. These conversations intrigued me and led me to conduct research on Cold War Broadway shows between 1945 and 1964. One of the shows was Leonard Spigelgass’ Pulitzer winning play A Majority of One.

However, I had some difficulties in finding reliable resources on the play. I still remember the luck that I found a resource in the papers collection of Leonard Spigelgass in the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute at The Ohio State University, and that the curators were willing to help me use the materials in the collection.

How amazing it was when I looked at the materials in the boxes. I found some treasure like news clippings, programs, pictures, and even awards. I bet many other research centers have resourceful collections and boxes that are sitting on shelves and waiting for someone to dig out the treasures they secretly enclose.

These materials on the play and author led me to the direction that resulted in the published manuscript in the Canadian Review of American Studies by the University of Toronto Press.

At first I wondered about the possibility of publication at the stage of submission to the journal since I felt there might be a some illogical statements and assumptions in it since I was using original sources mainly. Fortunately, the editor of the journal encouraged me to revise seriously the first draft in reference to the reviewers’ critical comments which turned out to be really useful. I felt I was blessed to have the editor’s encouragement and all the tough and thoughtful comments. Some of the comments were especially useful to make me open my views onto certain directions which I was not aware of. I accepted many of the suggestions that meant I had to do a lot of work but it did lead to productive and balanced results.

During the communication with the editor, I started to be nostalgic for the conversations I had had with my academic adviser and my mentor. I think sharing ideas is important. I enjoy communicating with people and learning something new. I look forward to having more conversations with this blog and through the publication of my manuscript.

Seunghyun Hwang’s article, “‘Courage to Do What Is Right’ on Cold War Broadway: Leonard Spigelgass’ A Majority of One,” is now available Ahead of Print on CRAS Online. Read it today here!

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