For my International Comparative Studies honors thesis titled "A Magic Carpet Ride: Exploring the Latinx Community’s Contribution to the Carpet Capital of the World, Dalton, Georgia," I am examining the following questions about my hometown:
How has the carpet industry in Dalton, Georgia, impacted the formation of Latinx individuals’ histories and identities, and vice versa? And how do these geographically specific experiences fit into the transnational conversation about Latinx folks in the US?
Throughout the summer, I read secondary materials about Dalton and the carpet industry to draft a literature review. I also conducted six in depth, 1-hour long interviews with Latinx adults to learn more about their experiences moving to, growing up in, and working in Dalton. The URS Remote Summer IDEA Grant allowed me to purchase transcription services from the IRB-approved service "TranscribeMe!" for the interview recordings, which allowed for better and more fluid interview processes since I did not have to worry about taking extensive notes during the interviews, and I learned so much from these conversations! Through these interview transcriptions and the existing literature, I hope to capture some of the (in)direct effects that the carpet industry has on my hometown community. My thesis will also be the first work conducted by someone of Latinx heritage who was born and raised in Dalton. As a native Daltonian, my lived experiences will provide a unique insight on analyzing and writing about the histories of Latinx folks in the nexus of the carpet economy in Dalton. This fall, I plan on conducting at least nine more interviews, finalizing my literature review, and writing one chapter of my thesis.
Pictured: Ana Trejo uploading an interview recording on Duke Box, Duke University’s secure cloud-platform.