Sarah Miles

OU Major: 
History
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Sandie Holguin
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
In a paper I wrote for my senior History Capstone class, I explored the failure of the Mississippi women's suffrage movement around the turn of the 20th century. My project, an approximately 30 page paper, utilized primary and secondary sources on the women involved in the suffrage movement in Mississippi and the Mississippi Women's Suffrage Association itself. Though the movement was ultimately a failure-- Mississippi did not ratify the 19th Amendment until 1984-- I believe that this lack of success is still a salient part of Mississippi's history and of southern suffrage history more broadly.
Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students: 
As I came to this topic without much prior knowledge of early American history, this was a project which truly stretched my abilities, forcing me to question and reconsider my assumptions to fit the evidence I found. My intention was originally to research Southern suffrage movements in the United States before the Civil War, only to discover that there were almost no active suffragists in the South in this period! I had to revise my project to fit with this evidence. Throughout this project, I was confused by new evidence, discovered primary sources which forced me to change my thesis, and worked hard to make sure that I was analyzing the evidence, not choosing evidence to fit my analysis. Historical research forces the researcher to do this sort of critical analysis which is extremely useful for a multitude of tasks and occupations.
Published Work: 
Miles, Sarah. OU Historical Journal 5 (Spring 2016). http://history.ou.edu/journal-2016