(This is largely a note for myself. I had an epiphany while showering this morning and I don’t want to forget it!)
I haven’t touched it for a while but for a few years I’ve been working on historical research focused on entertainment and communications technologies in American college and university residence halls. As is often the case, I began this research as it was a topic of interest to me; I placed only superficial thought on practical applications and implications. In other words, I did it only because I liked it and it interested me. But that won’t convince others to care about this research, to listen to me discuss it, or allow me to publish it.
This morning I finally found my hook. This will be the first time I’ve written it down so let’s see how it looks in print:
Understanding the history of entertainment and communications technologies in residence halls provides us with a means for understanding the tapestry of forces that have shaped not only residence halls but academia in the United States. These technologies provide rich examples of innovations motivated by economic competitiveness, cultural expectations, and academic experimentation.
Not only does this provide me with a much-needed organizational framework for this work but it also provides others with a motivation for understanding and supporting this historical research.