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Tufts Historical Review- Calls for Submissions!

The following is an email from Tufts Historical Review, forwarded to the BGSU Department of History:

The Tufts Historical Review Editorial Board is delighted to announce a call for submissions to Volume XI of the Tufts Historical Review, an academic journal of global history that seeks both undergraduate and graduate papers of the highest caliber.

This year, the theme of our journal is Chaos. Before Gaia, Tartarus, or Nyx, Chaos (Χάος) ruled the universe. The ancient Greeks conceptualized Chaos as a gap or space between concrete worlds, ideas, or eras. However, chaos has not always been defined by an absence or lacking of elements, but also as a force of turmoil, pandemonium, or unpredictability.

From the religious upheaval stemming from the Protestant Reformation to the social confusion of the Sexual Revolution, chaos has fundamentally altered the cultural fabric of society. Similarly, the trauma of the Bubonic Plague and the tumult of Mao’s Great Leap Forward shook the foundations of the existing world orders. Beyond this, as Genghis Khan and Napoleon Bonaparte epitomized, the art of chaos has been integral in the conquest and subjugation of nations.

Throughout history, humanity has been defined by the balance between order and chaos. Inspired leaders and nations have created and overcome chaos to impose order. Peoples, empires, and ideas will rise and fall and, when they do, chaos will always reign supreme.

These are just a few examples. The Editorial Board seeks outstanding articles – between 2,500 and 8,000 words – that explore our theme from a diverse array of perspectives. Submissions are due by 31 January 2018, and should be submitted to tuftshistoricalreview@gmail.com. Please refer the following document for more information.

Tufts Historical Review Website- http://ase.tufts.edu/pandp/historicalreview/

 

Delving into Corporate History: An Internship Experience with Whirlpool Corporation

By Lindsey Bauman, recent History M.A. and B.A. alum

I entered graduate school in the fall of 2015 with a decent idea of where I wanted to end up in the field of history. Although academia interests me, interpreting and educating people in public forums, such as museums or park services, has always been my passion. But as the submission date for my thesis loomed c;oser, I faced the same challenge that every other graduate student experiences upon nearing graduation: actually finding a job that channeled that passion.

133941011 As my submission deadline approached, my thesis advisor, Dr. Rebecca Mancuso, reached out to me about a potential internship with the Whirlpool Corporation in Clyde, Ohio. Looking to set up an exhibit focusing on the history of the plant, they had developed a project committee that included employees with different specialties and experience. Many of them had family working in the plant for two or three generations, which added a personal investment in the project. However, the committee wanted to include a few people that had a background in history. They had already brought in Dustin McLochlin, Curator at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums in Fremont, to help them understand the process of designing an exhibit. They also wanted to bring in an intern to help them sort through their archival materials and create an exhibit narrative.

Upon starting in July, I have spent quite a bit of time sifting through the company’s archives and constructing a catalog describing the materials. The amount of history contained within the walls of Clyde Division cannot be overstated. The facility was originally built in 1880 along a set of railroad tracks just to the northwest of Main Street.  Over the years, the plant has undergone several expansions and housed numerous manufacturers. This has included the Elmore Manufacturing Company, a bicycle-turned-automobile manufacturer that was quite prominent in the early 1900s before being bought out by General Motors. It was also the home of the Clydesdale Motor Truck Company, which was renowned in Europe during World War I for its excellent truck chassis, as well as Clyde Porcelain Steel Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of porcelain-on-steel products in the United States during the 1940s. Clyde Porcelain Steel merged with Whirlpool Corporation in 1952 and the division has since become the largest manufacturer of washing machines in the world.

While I did not have much experience with corporate history prior to my internship, I am quickly developing an interest in it. While I enjoy learning about the manufacturers and the challenges they faced, the most rewarding moments of my experience so far have included employees of Whirlpool themselves. During my first week, I was working with another committee member in the archives and we stumbled across a photograph of his grandparents; his grandfather had worked with Clyde Porcelain Steel until 1962. Seeing just how important this project is to him, as well as other employees with personal, familial, and communal connections to it, has added a whole new level of meaning to the work we are doing. I am looking forward to continuing to analyze and interpret the archival materials while constructing an exhibit narrative that represents the historical importance of Whirlpool and manufacturing to Clyde and its residents.

The Origin of Thanksgiving

As we all ready to celebrate this time of giving and thanks, appropriately named Thanksgiving, it is important to remember the holiday’s origins- which is significantly different than many believe.

Thanksgiving-Brownscombe

The First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has evolved significantly since the Puritans landed in modern eastern United States and shared their infamous feast with the Natives. While many of us think of Thanksgiving as originating from the Puritans, that is only partially correct. While the Puritans did “days of Thanksgiving,” they were called infrequently by colony councils and governors during time of war. During times of success, the Puritans would pray to God and feast, as illustrated by this quote from a Council at Large meeting at Charlestown, Massachusetts, “The holy God having by a long and Continued Series of his Afflictive dispensations in & by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this Land…. The COUNCIL have thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this Instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his goodness and Favour.” During times of failure and losing battles, they believed they were being punished by God and therefore famine.

These “days of Thanksgiving” were, despite popular belief, irregular and exclusive to the New England Puritans. It was not until Abraham Lincoln, in an attempt to bring unity to the United States during the Civil War, did Thanksgiving, as is known today, become a national holiday. On October 3, 1963, Abraham Lincoln would proclaim in a proclamation that “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heaven.” Ever since, Thanksgiving has been treated as a day of feasts (including the infamous turkey, sweet potato, stuffing and cranberry sauce platter!) and special thanks, religion and otherwise, in the United States.

From us to you, have a happy Thanksgiving! Stay safe, eat well and remember everything you have to be thankful for.

Written by John Stawicki, History senior, with information provided by Dr. Ruth Wallis Herndon.

What Happened to Political History?

by Dr. Joe Faykosh, PhD. Bowling Green State University and Professor of History at Central Arizona College

We asked Dr. Joe Faykosh, alum of our History graduate program, to write a reflection on what the election of Donald Trump and his presidency so far means for political history.

16982804-Abstract-word-cloud-for-Political-history-with-related-tags-and-terms-Stock-Photo

In August 2016, Fredrik Logevall and Kenneth Osgood wrote an op-ed in the New York Times titled “Why Did We Stop Teaching Political History?” Logevall and Osgood oriented the decline of the field in the 1960s and 1970s, as universities started to reject old-school approaches to recording history, interested in diversifying our field. I received that memo very late in the process: I was on the brink of defending my doctoral dissertation at BGSU and wading into the scary waters of the academic job market.

I did not get into political history because I loved telling the stories of old white men, or because I wanted to defend the status quo. I got into the field because, very early on in my life, I fell in love with partisan politics, and stories of the individuals who were launched into political power.  I always tell students that I made a conscious decision very early on to separate the political theater from governing: I do not obsess over the minutiae of presidential administrations (at least, not in my research these days), but focus instead on the spectacle of convincing millions of Americans that often unqualified, ignorant, and psychologically damaged candidates have the best interests of the vast swath of the constituency at heart. We hear the same promises election after election and the fulfilment of those promises rarely staunch the attraction of the sideshow carnival.

The 2016 election was no different. In my dissertation, I made comparisons between the parties of the 1920s and today, and how both parties had serious restructuring on their horizons. More voters went to the polls to vote against a candidate than for one, and untold numbers were completely turned off by the spectacle and refused to participate. In the wake of Donald Trump’s shocking election, we have seen a resurgence of attention focused on the performance of the office, but I am, as always, fascinated by the promises made, and the crowds who still show up to be swayed.

George McGovern

George McGovern

My next project will use a part of my dissertation, A Party in Peril, to examine the efforts of Franklin Roosevelt and George McGovern to rebuild the Democratic Party after disastrous elections in 1924 and 1968. In both cases, the party leaders were interested in opening the party’s decision-making and allowing the party’s faithful greater access to choosing the nominee at the precise moment of a realignment election. If done properly, the historical comparison of these two leaders can illuminate what both parties face in terms of party restructuring.

I do have one last observation that I want to share: Judging from social media, you would believe, contrary to Logevall and Osgood, that political history was among the most accessible fields. Not everyone can explain global climate change, quantum physics, or the intricacies of the immigration laws, but somehow, nearly everyone feels that they can compare the current (and previous) administration and political figures to the two hundred years of American political history that precede us. They view politics as a giant version of the “clap-back”: X happens, so we compare it to Y, and make a joke about Z. We live in a society saturated by political content in cable news and accessible websites that cater to the most depraved excesses of the political extremes. Rather than helping us think better historically, we have retreated to our corners, brandishing history-as-silencers, useful only to obviate your opponent’s argument.

More than ever, we need to focus on the tools that historical inquiry provide us, and adhere to the process. History, political or otherwise, does not exist solely to serve as a referendum on the current situation, and should not be wielded as a weapon to silence opposition. Instead, history can provide insight into how we have dealt with political turbulence before. History can provide us with the lessons of marginalized and underrepresented groups who persevered in worse times. History can also be used to demonstrate the importance of having more than one viewpoint, more than one cache of evidence, and more than one conclusion to draw from the myriad names, dates, and figures who precede us. Historians are at our best when we are sharing the fruits of our labor, shining a spotlight on a forgotten or overlooked section of our past, providing some new way of looking at who we are and how we arrived at this moment. Every now and then, it offers us a way of dealing with the new reality, and, just maybe, a way out of the messes where we find ourselves.

Thoughts from a CCP History Teacher and History Certificate Recipient

A guest post by Casey Losey, a CCP teacher at New Riegel Schools and a grant participant in the History certificate program

I was fortunate enough to participate in the Falcon Grant from Spring Semester 2016 to Summer Semester 2017. During this time, I was challenged with graduate classes from the History Department. As a full time teacher, wife and mother of two, these classes made me push myself to prioritize my time and to keep my eyes on the prize.

Fortunately,  I never felt alone during the whole process because there was constant support from the BGSU faculty and staff, plus members of the History Cohort_FALCON GrantHistory cohort to answer questions and to offer suggestions. There was an invested interest in the success of all those involved and it motivated me to work harder.

Left: BGSU President Mazey with FALCON Grant participants at the July awards ceremony

Plus, when we were finished, BGSU made sure to acknowledge our hard work with a completion ceremony. It was at that time we received certificates, a great dinner reception and some kind words from the University president. What a great way to end our participation in the program.

Participating in this grant was one of the best professional decisions I’ve made!! Thank you BGSU!!

— Casey Losey, New Riegel Schools

Dr. Jackson interviewed on removal of confederate statues on 13ABC

This Sunday at 11:00 AM on 13 ABC, “Conklin & Company” will address the removal of confederate monuments. The show invited Dr. Nicole Jackson to answer questions such as are statues bad for future generations? What do we owe our kids and grandchildren when it comes to history? Watch the show this Sunday on 13ABC and find out! The tape will be posted online during next week in this link.

BGSU Ph.D. alum Luke Nichter receives NEH Public Scholar award for 2017-18

Dr. Luke Nichter

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced that Luke Nichter received the prestigious Public Scholar award. Dr. Nichter is an alum of BGSU’s Policy History Ph.D. program and is currently an associate professor of history at Texas A&M.

This award comes right after Nichter’s co-edited books The Nixon Tapes were recognized with the Link-Kuehl Prize for Documentary Editing. The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations awards this price to outstanding primary-source collections in international or diplomatic history. Dr. Nichter will give a public talk about the Nixon Tapes in the Hayes Presidential Center on October 8.

Internship opportunity in Columbus

An alum of our program sent us information about a paid internship opportunity working for a polling firm in Columbus. This is what she wrote: Our company is looking for interns for the upcoming Fall semester, as well as the Spring and Summer semesters. I wanted to send along our internship listing in case you knew of anyone looking for an internship (they don’t have to currently be an enrolled student). Since many History majors are normally also interested in politics, I thought this internship may be a good opportunity for some students that are interested in the polling/research side of the political world. Our company doesn’t exclusively work for political clients; we also have worked for transit authorities, businesses, school districts, etc. I would greatly appreciate your help passing this along to potential applicants!

The announcement:

EMC Research, Inc. has openings for paid summer, fall semester, and spring semester interns. Located in downtown Columbus, EMC Research is a full-service research firm specializing in polling, focus groups, and public opinion research consulting.

Tasks and duties include:

  • Assisting with background research on projects
  • Utilizing programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to draft and edit client deliverables
  • Helping draft, edit and create graphic elements for client presentations
  • Supporting data processing
  • Providing administrative support to staff as needed

    Additional tasks may be assigned based on skill level, interest, and expertise.

    This is an opportunity to investigate a career in market research, consulting, and polling. We are open to all majors and fields of study, but prefer a candidate who has completed at least one year of college coursework and has an interest in the political process and/or data analytics. A candidate must be available 10 to 30 hours per week, for at least a 10-week period. This position pays $10.00/hour, and candidates do not have to be currently enrolled in school to apply.

    Please provide a resume and a cover letter that includes the days and hours you will be available during the semester. Email all application materials to resume@emcresearch.com with the subject line “Columbus Internship.”

    EMC Research is an equal opportunity employer.

Faykosh Wins University Dissertation Award

FaykoshDr. Joe Faykosh (PhD, 2016) has been awarded the 2017 BGSU Graduate College Distinguished Dissertation Award. His dissertation, “A Party in Peril: Franklin Roosevelt, the Democratic Party, and the Circular Letter of 1924,” will also be forwarded for consideration to the Council of Graduate Schools’ national competition of dissertations.

In addition to receiving this prestigious award, Joe recently learned that he has been hired by Central Arizona College for a full-time position.

If you see Joe before he leaves for Arizona, be sure to thank him for being such a great ambassador for the program for the past decade. Few students have been as invested in our collective success as Joe, and his presence here – as an MA student, a webmaster, a PhD student, a conscientious grill-tender at the annual picnic, a researcher, and most importantly as an instructor and mentor to our students – will be greatly missed.

Congratulations, Dr. Faykosh!

More exciting than terrifying: Zack Burton on PhD Programs

M.A. Student Zack Burton

M.A. Student Zack Burton

With the year coming to a close, many things are going through the minds of our soon-to-be graduates. The big “what now” questions can be answered with many options. Jobs and travel opportunities are just a couple of these. Another is to continue pursuing one’s education. This is the case with Zack Burton, who will graduate from BGSU’s M.A. History program this summer. His focus is on the history of businesses, fast food, and consumer capitalism. Zack has just been accepted into the University of Delaware history PhD program and will be an incoming Hagley Scholar. I was able to ask him some questions about his academic career and the process of applying into a PhD program:

What made you choose the field of history?

Zack: Lots of random, contingent reasons. Mostly great teachers: there was one guy in high school who would lead full trench warfare reenactments and spent an entire class period doing a bad-but-entertaining Napoleon impression. Not to mention the colorful four-person history department at SSU, which included a descendant of Syrian royalty on the run from the Assad regime, a licensed exorcist who taught me that destructive magic is best performed during the waning moon, and a self-proclaimed “Appalachian Buddhist” who lived in the middle of the woods. Everyone studying history has this irresistible storyteller’s glee that makes studying history seem like an unavoidable practice.

So eventually it just got to the point where I felt like studying history was a—pardon the phrase-“no-brainer,” and that whatever I studied I’d be studying history. Study math, and you’re studying the whole history of math. Study dental hygiene, and you…

When did you decide that you would pursue your doctorate?

Zack: I have since learned otherwise, but I entered graduate school thinking that I’d need to study history at the doctorate level and that an MA would get me nowhere. Totally untrue notion, but it kept me motivated enough to apply at BG and continue to pursue that dream. In a lot of ways, it just came off as a sort of big, overwhelming achievement and the challenge of attempting it seduced me immediately.

Where did you apply?

Zack: BGSU for two programs: an MFA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in American Culture Studies. I applied at the history programs at both the University of Oregon and the University of Delaware.

Where were you accepted?

Zack: I was accepted into both the ACS Ph.D. program and the program at UDel. Oregon sent me a very pleasant rejection letter. I still haven’t heard back from the MFA, which should give you a good idea of how difficult it is to apply to programs in more than one field.

What did you need to do in order to apply to these doctoral programs? Were the requirements the same? Were they different?

Zack: Pretty much the same overall. CV/résumé, personal statement/statement of purpose, writing sample, unofficial transcripts, three letters of recommendation. In my broader search, however, I encountered programs requesting one-page CVs and even ones that requested both a personal statement and a statement of purpose, which are different things on little more than molecular level.

What do you plan to do after earning you PhD?

Zack: Despite being warned against it by countless advisers and mentors, I am still interested in pursuing an academic job. Teaching is a wonderful opportunity to have conversations, engage with Young People™, and continue learning long after you graduate. Publications, conferences, and networking all carry a sort of glowing, awe-inspiring significance for me and as I go deeper into the rabbit hole this significance both becomes more attainable and takes on new, more fascinating shapes.

What advice would you give students who are interested in pursuing their PhD?

Zack: “If you have to ask whether or not you want a Ph.D., don’t get one.” It’s a bit black-and-white and I understand that it doesn’t apply to every situation, but it’s the best advice I ever received. Sit down and make a list—if you can find greater than five things you sincerely don’t like about college, you probably shouldn’t condemn yourself to five more years of it.

On the other hand, if you really are considering it, there are a few general rules you can follow. Apply to a school only once you’ve at least Skyped/met with professors there. Don’t let an intimidating GRE score or page count requirements deter you; they’re often ignored in favor of candidates who have done the proper networking and presented a strong writing sample. Finally, if you’re doing mental gymnastics to make yourself seem like a solid candidate, you probably need to apply elsewhere. When applying to Oregon, I tried to make my interest in studying fast food and consumer capitalism mesh with folks who were studying the 19th-century logging industry. Things didn’t work out.

Anything else you would like to add?

Zack: Since starting the MA I’ve repeatedly told people that there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of in the world of higher education. However, I’ve considered recanting that statement since applying for the Ph.D. By all means, anxiety is an okay thing. You can and should worry a little. But always keep in mind that higher ed, its opportunities, and even adulthood are more silly and exciting than terrifying—like a roller coaster, or like some sort of bumbling, cartoonish monster. Don’t run from them.

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