Summer Research Check in – Week 5

This summer I am assisting Professor Sohoni on his research concerning the legal obstacles foreign-born Asian Americans faced when trying to gain citizenship after serving the U.S. military. One of my first tasks for was to create a database of the Asian Americans who served in the US military. I gathered my information from the Library of Congress’s Veterans History project website and created an excel sheet with the veterans’ information. Some of the names include video recordings, audio interviews, or memoirs. If the Veterans History project provides these files I usually watch or listen to them and make notes on the significant events that occurred during their military service. Getting to hear the veterans stories is the best part of my research because of the detailed stories veterans provide and how passionate they are to have served the United States.

Along with working on the database I am also researching the Battle of New Orleans. There are oral histories saying that Filipino men, referred to as manilamen, that resided in Louisiana fought for Andrew Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans but so far there is no direct source for this information. I have been reading letters Andrew Jackson has written, a memoir about Andrew Jackson, and even contacted a historical site in New Orleans.

While I am helping Professor Sohoni with his research I am also working on my own research. I will be looking at Hispanic Americans in the United States military and am interested in researching their history of their service. I am still working on narrowing down my research topic and will continue to find sources on my topic.


  1. The Library of Congress is such a great, and surprisingly easy to use, source! I love the concept of this project and I think this is really valuable work that you’re doing. Will you present on both Sohoni’s research and your own at the end of the summer? I can sympathize with you because my research is going towards my Honors Thesis and it has taken me a large amount of time to try to focus in on a specific topic. There’s just so much information to consume!

  2. Hi thanks for your comment. I think I will only be focusing on my research for the symposium but Professor Sohoni’s work has influenced my own research.

  3. I would be really interested to hear some of the oral histories you’ve been listening to. I’d also like to see how the research you are pursuing will reflect trends which Professor Sohoni has seen in his research. How does your hypotheses reflect Sohoni’s work? I know that my research has largely been shaped by my work for Professor Settle. The differences in Asian-American and Hispanic-American patterns of military service must be large. Also, is there a history of whether Hispanic-Americans also struggled to obtain citizenship? That question might be completely erroneous, but I’m curious as to how much your research differs from Professor Sohoni’s beyond just a cultural group.

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