Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources
I used the keywords "Mao", "propaganda", "China", "rural China", "Xizhou Dali" and "wall propaganda" to drive my research. All of these words have a direct relationship with my topic, "Wall Propaganda Messages", or the context behind it. I can often trust the information if it includes its own sources, I can see the authors, and if it's relatively recent (probably after 2012, though I am pretty flexible). The easiest way for me to figure out the authors are if the authors are straight-up listed, or at least if the organization is listed.
A key resource that was extremely helpful for finding experts was chineseposters.net. From this website, I already gathered significant information about Maoist-era propaganda, which can be found in Phase 3. Under their Contact section, they also had the names of two experts: Stefan R. Landsberger and Marien van der Heijden, both of whom helped find the content displayed on the website. Stefan's email is at email@example.com, and Marien's is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a sample of the first email (the second email contains similar wording).
Dear Mr. Landsberger,
For a school project, I have been analysing propaganda in modern China, especially with focus on the village of Xizhou, Dali in Yunnan Province. I found the website chineseposters.net as a wonderful source of information, and I would like to sincerely thank you for all of your contribution. One of my project requirements is to contact an expert on my topic. If you have the time, will you look at my progress (at http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/projects/blogs/8602/students) and give your feedback?
Also, I am required to send you a list of ten questions that I asked about my topic. Please do not answer these questions, but I would love your recommendations on more sources of information.
1. What are some demographic misconceptions that the Xizhou villagers will have of foreign countries, especially those related to government propaganda?
2. What are some generalizations that Xizhou villagers will have of developed countries? How would government propaganda have shaped these views?
3. What are some generalizations that Xizhou villagers will have of underdeveloped countries? How would government propaganda have shaped these views?
4. How does Chinese propaganda mention and use other countries in order to make themselves look good? What do villagers think of "outward belittlement", if they are aware of it at all?
5. Who are the greatest Chinese leaders according to the Xizhou villagers? What factors, including government propaganda, would have shaped these views?
6. What do the Xizhou villagers know about 20th century Chinese history? How would government propaganda have shaped these views?
7. How is propaganda spread about Xizhou? How can I analyze every method of propaganda in Xizhou?
8. Where are wall propaganda messages placed? What factors impact their placement?
9. What colours are predominant in wall propaganda messages? What results can certain colours convey?
10. How is art used in wall propaganda messages? What results can art bring?
I have not had a reply from either of the experts yet.