Presentation Title

“Without homeland, nor home”: The 1921 letters of Jenny de Mayer

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Researching Jenny De Mayer brings value to a wide array of different fields of study as she kept an incredibly detailed account of her travels and experiences through writing letters to friends and family. Dr. Corrado found these letters unexpectedly in an archive in Minusio, Switzerland, and photographed them with her cell phone just before the pandemic. For our particular CDIUR project, we read letters from different points in Jenny’s life before finally picking one year to focus upon. We began our transcriptions starting on November 26, 1920, and ending on November 29, 1921, essentially studying the entirety of Jenny De Mayer’s experiences within her 56th year of life. During this year, Jenny traveled between Biskra (Algeria), Tunis (Tunisia), Malta (British Crown Colony), Alexandria (Egypt), Beirut (Lebanon), Broumana (Lebanon) and Jerusalem (Palestine). Her letters not only included her travel plans, but also medical issues, finances, family dynamics, interreligious interactions, personal faith, and other biblical and missionary themes. We read, transcribed, coded, and digitized each letter, as well as recorded common themes throughout. Our goal is to have our findings published in Scholarly Editing. Jenny De Mayer provided a detailed account of life as a female missionary during the late 1800s and early 1900s, demonstrating a perspective that is often neglected in history and providing us with the resources to better understand everyday issues in Northern Africa and the Middle East after World War I.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Sharyl Corrado

Funding Source or Research Program

Cross Disciplinary-Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research

Location

Waves Cafeteria

Start Date

25-3-2022 2:00 PM

End Date

25-3-2022 3:00 PM

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“Without homeland, nor home”: The 1921 letters of Jenny de Mayer

Waves Cafeteria

Researching Jenny De Mayer brings value to a wide array of different fields of study as she kept an incredibly detailed account of her travels and experiences through writing letters to friends and family. Dr. Corrado found these letters unexpectedly in an archive in Minusio, Switzerland, and photographed them with her cell phone just before the pandemic. For our particular CDIUR project, we read letters from different points in Jenny’s life before finally picking one year to focus upon. We began our transcriptions starting on November 26, 1920, and ending on November 29, 1921, essentially studying the entirety of Jenny De Mayer’s experiences within her 56th year of life. During this year, Jenny traveled between Biskra (Algeria), Tunis (Tunisia), Malta (British Crown Colony), Alexandria (Egypt), Beirut (Lebanon), Broumana (Lebanon) and Jerusalem (Palestine). Her letters not only included her travel plans, but also medical issues, finances, family dynamics, interreligious interactions, personal faith, and other biblical and missionary themes. We read, transcribed, coded, and digitized each letter, as well as recorded common themes throughout. Our goal is to have our findings published in Scholarly Editing. Jenny De Mayer provided a detailed account of life as a female missionary during the late 1800s and early 1900s, demonstrating a perspective that is often neglected in history and providing us with the resources to better understand everyday issues in Northern Africa and the Middle East after World War I.