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#1 2006-04-04 11:37:52

RHogg
Member
Registered: 2006-04-03

master's theses

First I'd like to thank Maitre Crown for inviting me to take part in the forum, and to all the IFV folks for setting up what looks like a great venue to discuss fencing seriously.

In this spirit, I have an actual, serious question about fencing!  :)  Chris Umbs and I were chatting the other day, and as far as we can tell it looks like people's master's theses seem to disappear into the ether once they're read by examining committees.  I know IMAF and the San Jose program require them, not to mention other programs throughout time and space (Gillet's being only one example), which have increasing relevance to classical fencing the further back you go...

It seems to me that master's theses are a potentially valuable source of ideas for those training to become teachers and who are struggling to develop their pedagogy -- especially since treatises only mention pedagogy once in a blue moon.  Yet how to access them?  For current masters, is it necessary to write each one individually to see if they'll be nice enough to supply a copy?  Are there lists of theses anywhere?  Do the Ithaca and San Jose libraries send them out on interlibrary loan?

And of course when you're looking for a thesis from 1920 or 1930, the problems only get greater... does AAI keep a bunch of these, or maybe some other body?

Cheers,
Russell


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#2 2006-04-04 20:13:03

Adam Adrian Crown
Maître d'Armes
From: Ithaca, New York
Registered: 2006-04-04
Website

Re: master's theses

That's a good question, Russell.
As far as I know, no copies of the theses of M. Gillet's students are lying about. One would have to write to the individuals to see if they have a copy.
I expect several colleagues to come aboard the forum shortly; they may be able to offer additional/better ideas. With the demise of the US Academy of Armes and the passing of the gentlemen of that era, I'm afraid much has gotten lost.
This is one of those things that has been so poorly and unprofessionally dealt with over the years. I would be glad to consider publishing on this website, as a courtesy, any relevant thesis of any fencing master candidate who received his/her diploma -- and any who do so in future.
We have to start somewhere, eh?

AAC

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#3 2006-04-05 01:51:04

j_sullins
Military Master at Arms
Registered: 2006-04-05

Re: master's theses

Hi,

I know the SJSU theses are all in the library there. (http://www.sjlibrary.org/)  Search under fencing and you will find them all.  They are listed, library use only. Still, you might be able to get copies made especialy if you have your library make the request through ILL.  Or better yet, come out to sunny CA and spend a weekend reading them. :)  Dr. Gaugler also had the library buy a number of nice fencing books that are in the special collections.

John Sullins

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#4 2006-04-05 06:45:00

Adam Adrian Crown
Maître d'Armes
From: Ithaca, New York
Registered: 2006-04-04
Website

Re: master's theses

Thanks, John.

AAC

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#5 2006-04-05 06:52:11

Adam Adrian Crown
Maître d'Armes
From: Ithaca, New York
Registered: 2006-04-04
Website

Re: master's theses

John,
I just checked the listings at the sjsu library site  and found only a few (18) books. No lead to masters' theses. Suggestions?
Thanks.

AAC

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#6 2006-04-05 09:00:29

Adam Adrian Crown
Maître d'Armes
From: Ithaca, New York
Registered: 2006-04-04
Website

Re: master's theses

I've contacted the USFCA to see if they have anything available.
Awaiting their reply.

AAC

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#7 2006-04-05 11:13:20

RHogg
Member
Registered: 2006-04-03

Re: master's theses

I checked the SJSU site and was able to find 4 theses -- from Maestri Sullins, Sahm, Burchard, & Katzoff -- by doing author searches on their catalog.  However, I couldn't find any trace of the theses of other program graduates... maybe the electronic catalog isn't fully filled out...?

So that's one source down... how many other dozens to go?  :)  This conversation also makes me wonder when it became the norm for master's candidates to write theses as part of their curriculum?  Late 1800's?

Thanks for the input!

Cheers,
Russell


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#8 2006-04-06 00:09:41

Sean Hayes
Maestro d'armi
Registered: 2006-04-05

Re: master's theses

RHogg wrote:

I checked the SJSU site and was able to find 4 theses -- from Maestri Sullins, Sahm, Burchard, & Katzoff -- by doing author searches on their catalog.  However, I couldn't find any trace of the theses of other program graduates... maybe the electronic catalog isn't fully filled out...?l

In the late 90's the SJSU Library stopped cataloging the Fencing Master's Program theses - so mine and Frank Lurz's are not there, nor Janine Sahm's or Paul Sherman's.  But mine is available through me to a select audience.  Adam, let me see about necessary copyrights and such, and then we could make it available in some fashion to folks like Russell.  I don't have any publication plans for it directly, but I have "mined" it for articles in the past and will certainly do so again in the future.  Portions of it may even show up as theory material in a book project I'm working on.

Sean

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#9 2006-04-06 06:57:32

Adam Adrian Crown
Maître d'Armes
From: Ithaca, New York
Registered: 2006-04-04
Website

Re: master's theses

Book project, Sean?
That sounds exciting.
Say more?

AAC

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#10 2006-04-06 09:30:13

Rez
Member
Registered: 2006-04-06

Re: master's theses

The USFCA maintains a library of its Fencing Masters' Theses at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado where they have their annual Coaches College every August. Students attending the Coaches College are allowed to read them and I think make photo-copies as well. However, the USFCA is a modern sport fencing organization and I am not sure how far back their thesis collection goes. Most of them will be sport oriented rather than classical oriented. But we might find a few nuggets in there.

Blessings, Rez

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#11 2006-04-06 11:20:00

RHogg
Member
Registered: 2006-04-03

Re: master's theses

That's too bad about the SJSU library... seems kind of sad when a university doesn't want to devote the resources to keeping its own students' theses for posterity -- at least I assume that's what happened?

What would be handy is some sort of bibliography of theses so that people could at least know what's out there to be read.  Of course for classical fencing that bibliography might be perforce a bit short...  unless there ARE some useful nuggets at USFCA (which I imagine there must be at least one or two, even if they're kinesiological), or there are some dusty old papers sitting on shelves somewhere in Paris, Rome, or Naples.  Maybe it's worth writing some letters...

Thanks again to all!

Cheers,
Russell


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#12 2006-04-06 12:12:39

Sean Hayes
Maestro d'armi
Registered: 2006-04-05

Re: master's theses

RHogg wrote:

That's too bad about the SJSU library... seems kind of sad when a university doesn't want to devote the resources to keeping its own students' theses for posterity -- at least I assume that's what happened?

Well, I work for a university, as does John, and we can both tell you that there aren't enough resources to go around.  Every program on campus at U of O makes yearly cuts to stay inside shrinking budgets; at the local community college (where I also teach) we were recently told not to sharpen the pencils too often or promiscuously use the chalk - I kid you not.  So it's not really a surprise that theses from certification programs like the Fencing Master's Program fell to the library's ax.  In the late 90s the California higher ed system was hurting in a big way, and every penny saved was a penny desperately needed for something deemed vital.

As a country we don't value education enough to adequately fund it. 

Sean

Last edited by Sean Hayes (2006-04-06 12:13:20)

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#13 2006-04-06 14:30:42

RHogg
Member
Registered: 2006-04-03

Re: master's theses

As someone who teaches in a public university myself, I can definitely agree with you there.  Told not to sharpen the pencils too much??? jeez...


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#14 2006-04-08 15:25:51

j_sullins
Military Master at Arms
Registered: 2006-04-05

Re: master's theses

SJSU was none too keen on keeping my Thesis either if I remember right.  Dr. Gaugler had to twist many arms to get them to do it so I am not surprised that they stopped doing it soon after.  Now, most of these documents are stored electronically by a third party company that offers copies to people for a fee.  I wonder why we are not using that service at SJSU now?

BTW, I just enter the key word “fencing” and to find all of these on the SJSU catalogue.

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