Archive for February, 2008


1 Where do you consider yourself “from”? Why?
2 How does your hometown compare to Williamsburg?
3 What’s the first thing you remember?
4 What events in your life shaped who you are now?
5 Why did you choose William and Mary?
6 Are you happy with that decision? Why?

1 How has Williamsburg changed in the time you’ve been here?
2 Why have you chosen Williamsburg as your home?
3 What’s the closest location you can drive to that you would not consider Williamsburg?
4 How would you describe the relationship between students and Williamsburg’s permanent residents?
5 What do you think of students?
6 What do you think students think of you?


Class oriented
1. What about William and Mary attracted you?
2. Tell me about your life growing up.
3. What activities were you involved in during adolescence?
4. What activities are you involved in now?
5. How do you feel connected to the larger community of Williamsburg?
6. What is your favorite thing to do with any free time you might have?
1. What about Williamsburg attracted you to live here?
2. Tell me about your childhood
3. What has drawn you to your specific occupation?
4. How has Williamsburg changed since you’ve lived here?
5. Tell me about raising children in the Williamsburg area.
6. How do you feel connected to the larger community of Williamsburg?


Emily Nunez
American Studies 470
February 7, 2008

To Classmates:
1)What drew you to William and Mary?

2)Did your parents or relatives influence your college decision?

3)What is your perception of Colonial Williamsburg contrasted to the rest of the Williamsburg area?

4)If you had the opportunity to remain in Williamsburg after graduation would you consider it, or would you chose to move away? Why or why not?

5)Do you think the proximity of CW to William and Mary enhances your college experience? Why or why not?

6)Did you visit Colonial Williamsburg prior to the time you considered attending William and Mary? If so, how were your perceptions then different from your present ideas about CW?

To Locals:
1)Did you grow up in the Williamsburg area? If not, why did you choose to move here? If so, what made you stay?

2)When you think of Williamsburg, what do you consider to be the center of town?

3)As a resident of Williamsburg, do you often go to Colonial Williamsburg?

4)What is your perception of Colonial Williamsburg in relation to the rest of the Williamsburg area?

5)What university, if any, did you attend? Was the campus very different from William and Mary’s campus? Describe the differences.

6)When you think of the William and Mary campus, what do you see as the dividing line between the campus and the community?

questions for interview

Local/Golf Course questions:
1. Tell me about growing up in Williamsburg. If you moved here later in life, why did you decide upon Williamsburg?
2. What did you do for fun/what were the local hot spots?
3. Tell me about one time you remember being proud to live in Williamsburg.
4. Tell me about one time you remember being ashamed to live in Williamsburg.
5. What do you remember about the construction of the golf courses?
6. What did you think about golf courses being built in town?
Peer questions:
7. Where are you from? How do you connect to your hometown?
8. What do your parents do for a living? How did that impact your childhood?
9. Tell me about your childhood best friend. Are you still in touch?
10. What is your relationship to your family like?
11. Why did you decide to come to William and Mary?
12. What is the earliest memory you have? Why is this important to you?


Classmate Questions:
1.What goals did you set for yourself in grade school/high school? How did they lead you to William and Mary?
2.How did you choose to come to The College of William and Mary?
3.How do you define the city of Williamsburg? Does this place meet your expectations of a “college town”?
4.Please describe your relationship as a student to the community? What sorts of interactions have you experienced? Were they positive or negative?
5.How has Williamsburg prepared you for the next phase in your life, academically, socially, politically?
6.What has been the biggest surprise to you about college life since coming to William and Mary?
Local Questions:
1.How long have you lived in the Williamsburg area and attended St. Bede’s Catholic Church?
2.How would you describe the relationship between students and members of the community within the parish? What sorts of interactions have you experienced?
3.How did you feel about the decision to build a new, separate church away from the student ministry program?
4.What aspects of the church and the broader Williamsburg community are you involved?
5.Do you feel a sense of community at St. Bede’s Church? What does it look like? Is it exclusive?
6.Are there areas/ministries within the parish that could use improvement? What parts of the church could use more development and focus?


Emily C. Nunez
February 5, 2008
American Studies 470

Williamsburg Documentary Proposal

For my project I will be focusing on the William and Mary campus, specifically the development of the school in relation to the physical architectural development on old campus. I will be researching when the college starting adding more buildings onto the William and Mary site. For example, when was Tucker built and when did sunken gardens become sunken gardens. I will also focus part of my piece on the wall that surrounds William and Mary. I believe the wall is an important part of the campus because it shows a separation, or barrier, between the campus and the surrounding community. I would like to find out if the barrier is only in brick or if it is a metaphor for a physical barrier that separates the college from the rest of the Williamsburg community.
After completing my research on the development of old campus and when the wall was constructed, I would like to interview community members and Colonial Williamsburg employees to see how they perceive the campus. I believe my research will show that the wall does act as a metaphorical wall as well as a physical one. I find this topic interesting because I believe that people in the community see William and Mary students as outsiders and that most people in Colonial Williamsburg tend to treat students differently. Additionally, I think it would be interesting to find out what community members think about the campus itself, the wall and the physical expansion of the campus.
I think it will be hard to organize this material, and the concept might need to be narrowed down more, but I believe in the idea behind the topic. The campus and the community exist symbiotically, and it will be interesting to see how the community really perceives the college.

Two Topic for Consideration

Pre Roe v. Wade Williamsburg

Since the last time I met with you both I’ve been trying to narrow my ideas concerning potential project topics. I think that I’ve narrowed my options to two completely different topics. The first idea works to expand past research on unwanted pregnancy in Williamsburg pre-Roe v. Wade. I would like possibly continue research on this subject as working to maintain the right to choose is a topic that affects my life greatly. I am an active member of the WM chapter of Vox and have worked to impart knowledge on the subject to both the students and residents of Williamsburg. While I have a broader base of knowledge on the subject I think it would be fascinating to document individual responses and opinions about how the ruling changed lives. Contrasting opinions about choice from an older age demographic with a younger would also be an interesting way to relate to the research.
Joint project–Growing Up in Williamsburg

The second topic that I have thought about concerns growing up in Williamsburg. As Tim said in his posting, we have been participating in a dialogue about the potential scope of this project. We both know many people who have grown up here. These friends and acquaintances vary in age and background, but we both agree that by organizing the project around a public institution, like a school, that all participants attended would allow a common ground for the purposes of comparison. I would be very interested in tackling this subject, however I do know that we are still in the elementary stages of planning and a meeting with Professor Knight would be necessary to narrow the scope.

Voting and Blogging

Voting and Blogging

At this point, I’ve narrowed to two ideas: a project about the history of student voting in Williamsburg and a project about the anti-Nichol bloggers who have used the internet to gain a powerful voice.


In a city strongly connected to the birth of American democracy, the struggle for voting rights continues into the 21st Century. The story of William and Mary students fighting for the right to register to vote in Williamsburg is a compelling one that has drawn national media attention and has in some ways come to a conclusion that would add a powerful ending to my project. Students can now vote — but will they? Will a student run for city council, and will candidates be forced to address student issues?
There are many facets to this story, including a student winning a seat on the Soil and Water Board with three write-in votes and the reasons for the firing of former registrar Dave Andrews (which I believe I can find out, even though these reasons have never been released in the media). This story can be expanded to include the history of student voting — how long has this been an issue? It can be narrowed to focus on specific issues, such as the upcoming City Council election.
I plan to rely mainly on interviews with Williamsburg residents, students (like David Sievers, who ran for council), the mayor, professors, and the voter registrar. There is also a lot of information in the Swem archives (records) and past Virginia Gazette and Flat Hat issues.


Soon after Nichol decided to remove the Wren cross from permanent display, went online. It became a powerful force in the debate — its leader was interviewed by the national media, and it hosted a petition that drew thousands of signatures. When the cross was returned to the chapel, the site issued a press release saying that the fight was over. Then another site went up.
It’s amazing to me that random people around the world can gain such a loud and powerful voice using the internet — and actually have an effect on policy here in Williamsburg. I’d like to profile these people, showing how and why they do what they do. I’d also like to explore a new phenomenon: the force of blogging.
The project would be done almost entirely through oral history interviews with the leaders of the anti-Nichol groups: Jim Jones, Vince Haley, Lance Kyle, and others (I’ve interviewed all these people before through my work at The Flat Hat). There is also an interesting element to the story: One of the people who started the Swift Boating against John Kerry has joined the anti-Nichol crowd and is using some of the same tactics he used against Kerry.
I would also interview professors who have been at the College a long time about the history of controversy at the school and what they think of the new techniques that are being used to wield power of the school.

Williamsburg Film-going

My research project will aim to synthesize—in an easily readable and accessible form—the history of movie-going in Williamsburg. Using existing resources garnered from previous WDP and Williamsburg Theater Projects, as well as various other primary and secondary sources, I hope to compound and expand most—if not all—existing scholarship on Williamsburg’s cinema, and the effect of that cinema on its culture.
My “synthesis” project will begin with location. I will identify each cinema outlet, examine the films that have played there and the people that have gone there, tracing and explaining the significance of any trends of race, gender, and age. Then, using primary source interviews—extant and my own—I will attempt to explain the cultural impact of the locations on the Williamsburg community. I also plan to trace the economic interactions of the different theaters, to see if they coincided with tensions of class, race, or age.
I hope to answer the following research questions in my project: Who went to the movies in Williamsburg? Why? Why were there several theaters? Were theatres racially divided? How so? Most importantly, did communities form, merge, or evolve from the city’s interaction with movie theatres?
I will likely have more questions to answer as I begin my research.
I also hope to use city census records and other data, examining the population of Williamsburg to hopefully discover the extent of the town’s participation in movie-going.

What I Have for Now

In looking at the list of former projects by WDP students, I was most drawn to Filming Williamsburg/Williamsburg and Film. I assume this project deals with Williamsburg being used for filming locations. The side note makes the project sound as though there aren’t very many resources to work with. I plan to utilize the archives to dig back to the earliest known interaction of film and Williamsburg, which is probably D.W. Griffith’s film “America,” to the more recent HBO miniseries “John Adams.” I will interview local residents to get their perspective of the filming industry to see how and if it impacted their view of the town at all, look through primary documents to see the reaction, read critical reviews of the piece, and finally view the final product.

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The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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