Week of 3/24

This week has been productive (scheduling-wise) for more preliminary interviews with B&B owners. I was able to schedule interviews with Craig Reeves from the Williamsburg Manor B&B (tomorrow at 11am) and Karen Watkins from Colonial Gardens B&B (Monday at 1pm). During my interview with Mr. Reeves tomorrow, I hope to continue gaining more insight on the frustration between local government and come in with more of a focus on how he defines “Southern Hospitality.” I might also consider asking him questions regarding guest experiences both positively and negatively (I noticed on Trip Advisor, the comments were varied from super positive to highly negative from recent years) and how the business has adapted or changed in the last few years in comparison to others in the B&B community. With his and Ms. Watkins’s insight, I hope to also find another more “complacent” B&B to speak with or reach out to.

I think I’ve been so caught up in scheduling and speaking to people that I have yet to delve into my scholarly research (secondary sources) as much as I would have liked. I know my shift is still moving more towards the construction of these spaces of “Southern Hospitality” and how that tourist experience contributes to the overall image of Williamsburg, so I plan to do a little more reading and researching next week. That research includes a more in-depth history of B&B negotiations with the local government and other notable tourism-related issues in the past. I also need to follow up with the Keanes on recording their oral history in the coming weeks and get in contact with Robin Carson from the Kingsmill resort for a preliminary interview. Once these preliminary interviews are done, I hope to take more time to research while conducting formal oral history interviews once I’ve decided on my final “candidates” for the WDP archive.


3 Responses to “Week of 3/24”

  1. 1 mal2013 March 29, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I really like the idea of using the TripAdvisor reviews as “data” from which you can draw talking points for your interviews. Having a firm grasp of the secondary scholarly resources will become very important as you begin to frame all of the primary data you’re collecting. With that in mind, make sure to devote some time – even just a few hours each week – to reading these sources. They will also likely help you develop your interview questions.

  2. 2 loetta March 30, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I am experiencing the same thing with having a productive week scheduling and needing to find time to obtain secondary research, I think its great that you are using other outlets like TripAdvisor to look at reviews. Have you looked at other social networking sites that may have pages/reviews that focus on B&B’s in Williamsburg? Also, will you compare how each person you interview defines “Southern Hospitality?”

  3. 3 mrfeeney March 31, 2014 at 1:32 am

    I feel like we’re both having the same problem in trying to balance scheduling people with reading the secondary sources. Given the choice between the two, my first instinct (and given this post, yours also) is to talk to people. But I think Professor Lelievre is right when she says the secondary research could expand our questions and conversations in some different directions, especially your sources about southern hospitality. I’m sure there’s a whole bunch on that, and southern hospitality seems like it could be the crux of your paper. So much reading, so little rime. Also, piling on here, the TripAdvisor idea is clever.

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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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