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Propaganda, Print Culture, and Popular Opinion: Newsletters and Pamphlets in Seventeenth-Century England

Zdena Sinkhorn

Name: Zdena Sinkhorn
Major: History
Minor: Philosophy
Advisor: Dr. Christina Welsch

Marchamont Needham’s unique role as a journalist in seventeenth century England
allows for new ways of understanding the relationship between government and media during
this time. While there have been numerous studies done on the print materials at this time,
research into journalists operating within the boundaries of publishing restrictions is relatively
unexplored. By using Needham’s work as a baseline for the three different research methods
shown in my I.S., I am able to argue for the importance of understanding the wider historical and
contemporary contexts of print materials. The heavy use of primary source materials pamphlets
and newsletters throughout my I.S. demonstrates the different scholarly uses that the materials
can have. In addition to a traditional research paper, I have used these materials to investigate the
different biases and methodologies scholars can approach these materials with through an
archive and in a public facing digital history project. While the scholarly impact of my work is
more straightforward, as it works to reconsider traditional scholarly uses of primary source
material, the contemporary importance of my I.S. is less apparent. By understanding the
historical relationship between the government and the press, it becomes possible to better
understand the current uses of media by governmental bodies to influence public opinion.
Additionally, by making use of three different modes of interaction with the materials, I was
better able to demonstrate the versatility of archival materials, as well as better explore my own
interest in each of the chapters.

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Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022.


3 responses to “Propaganda, Print Culture, and Popular Opinion: Newsletters and Pamphlets in Seventeenth-Century England”

  1. Anabelle Andersen says:

    Such an incredible project! I know you’ve worked really hard and it shows! You definitely added meaningful scholarship to available resources!

  2. Tracy Cosgriff says:

    Congratulations on a beautiful and compelling Senior I.S., Zdena! I’m especially impressed by your use of Scalar and network analysis to elucidate these critical historical themes, as well as the archival questions they raise. I remember very fondly your first project analyzing prints in your freshman year – I’m inspired to see you come full circle!

  3. Kate Beutner says:

    I love to see work on early print culture! Thanks so much for sharing your research, Zdena.

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