A Serendipitous Inspiration of Undergraduate Research



By Andrew M. Schocket

When I replied “No” to Kinzey’s question, and to Colin’s follow-up, I was pretty sure of my answer.
I was wrong. The resulting historical adventure began with a lively class discussion, continued through an independent study, and eventually resulted in an article that undergraduates Kinzey McLaren-Czerr, Colin Spicer and I wrote together. Continue reading

Undergraduate Article Published in Journal of the American Revolution

Students Kinzey M. McLaren-Czerr and Colin J. Spicer, along with Professor Andrew M. Schocket, are published in the Journal of the American Revolution. Titled “The Constitution Counted Free Women and Children – And it Mattered,” the article tackles the importance of counting women and children in the population count of a state.

Congratulations to Kinzey, Colin, and Prof. Andrew!

To check out the article, click here or the link below.

The Constitution Counted Free Women and Children—And It Mattered


The Lunar Landing at 50: Prestige in History and Memory

by Dr. Benjamin Greene

I recently had an opportunity to contribute to the “First on the Moon” series of events sponsored by Auglaize County Historical Societyand the Armstrong Air and Space Museum that commemorate this year’s 50thanniversary of the moon landing.  My discussion at St. Mary’s Community Public Library cautioned that our commemoration of the moon landing must firmly situate this episode in the tumultuous context of 1969.  Although the lunar landing garnered immediate international admiration and adulation, its benefits were frustratingly fleeting, as other events at home and abroad continued to diminish America’s international prestige and moral authority. Continue reading

Professor Grunden obtains SOKENDAI grant in Japan

Professor Walter Grunden has been invited to the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (Sōgō kenkyū daigakuin daigaku, or SOKENDAI) in Hayama, Japan, to participate in a collaborative research project examining science policy under the Allied Occupation (1945-1952). Funded by an internal grant awarded to principal investigator Professor Kenji Ito (SOKENDAI), Grunden, Ito, and Professor Takashi Nishiyama (State University of New York, Brockport) will travel extensively throughout Japan this summer to conduct research in government and university archives and will begin collaboration on a book-length monograph. Their project will examine the links between occupation-era reconstruction and postwar remilitarization and economic recovery, with a particular focus on how science policy both contributed to and obstructed these processes. Grunden’s primary interest in the project is to illustrate how the Cold War era imperative to contain the spread of communism in East Asia directly informed policy decisions affecting the reformation of science institutions and the reintegration of Japanese scientists into the global scientific community even well after the occupation ended. Grunden’s preliminary findings on this subject were presented in the article, “Physicists and ‘Fellow Travelers’: Nuclear Fear, the Red Scare, and Science Policy in Occupied Japan,” published in the Journal of American-East Asian Relations (2018). The collaborative book-length project with Ito and Nishiyama will expand this study beyond physics and into the fields of aeronautics, engineering, and medicine. Continue reading

Graduate Student Rebekah Brown Works with Archivists across State Lines to Develop her Thesis

By Rebekah Brown

Image of Marion Neprude

When I applied for the History graduate program at BGSU, I had a general notion that I’d like to study what happened after the 19th Amendment ensured the right of women to vote in the United States. While I had lots of questions, like what citizenship education actually looked like or whether there was a generational gap in voting rates, spending time in various archives is what ultimately helped me develop a thesis topic. I took several trips to Columbus to visit the Ohio History Connection archives, which houses the Ohio League of Women Voters records. Since I was interested in post-suffrage women’s history, their 52-box collection seemed like a good place to start. Reading the minutes and publications of the OLWV helped me decide to frame my thesis as an investigation of the OLWV outreach to Ohio’s rural women in the 1920s. Continue reading

Learning about “Fred’s House” Brings A Greater Understanding of Local History

By Dr. Rebecca Mancuso

In the courses I teach on local history, my main message is that every place has a history, no matter how ordinary or how small. An abandoned storefront on a city block, a tumble-down farm house sitting in its lonely quarter acre, or your own home, has a history miles deep. If we’re willing to think creatively about the possibilities that small spaces hold, we can uncover intriguing stories about our communities that inspire and connect us. Continue reading

Is Catholic Enlightenment Possible?

By Dr. Kara Barr

Statue of Saint Paul in front of Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Photo Credit to Nils on Unsplash.

Statue of Saint Paul in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Photo Credit to Nils on Unsplash.

Recently, while working on my own research, I was struck by the parallel trials facing the writers who participated in what we might call a project of Catholic Enlightenment in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the current headline-making struggle to reconcile the institution of the Catholic Church with modern realities.  Broadly speaking, the participants in the early modern Catholic Enlightenment were much the same as their twenty-first century counterparts: women and men who both valued their Catholic identities and sought to resolve the apparent tensions between that identity and more secular understandings of reform, progress, and essential human dignity engendered by the Enlightenment.  Ulrich Lehner, the foremost scholar currently working on the Catholic Enlightenment project, depicts a project of social reform which sought to address a variety of perceived flaws within the church, from the despotic reign of the papacy and episcopacy to the church’s stance on controversial issues like slavery and the treatment of women.[1]  My own research into the theological and philosophical side of all this reveals much the same: dedicated Catholics who nonetheless saw value for the Church in embracing new philosophical concepts that reconsidered the nature of human identity and individuality, many of which the Church had remained skeptical if not openly hostile. Continue reading

Trip to Coasta Rica Inspires Future Study Abroad Course

By Scott C. Martin

1968 was an explosive year.  In Chicago, the Democratic National Convention produced riots, police violence, and vehement protest against the Vietnam War.  Student unrest and demonstrations in the United States, Mexico, France, and elsewhere rocked political and educational establishments around the world.   A different type of explosion occurred that year in Costa Rica; one that would change the nation’s rural community culture, terrain, and environmental policy.  To commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the explosion of Volcan Arenal, last month my spouse, Dr. Lara Martin Lengel, and I visited La Fortuna, a popular destination in the Zona Norte region, and the gateway to Volcan Arenal, the site of the massive 1968 eruption and lava flow.  A steep trek up narrow, rocky paths to the top of the lava fields reveals a landscape changed by tons of lava, now cooled into extensive swathes of black, volcanic rock, interspersed here and there with lone orange or white orchids, and patches of ground covered in blue berries.  At some points along the lava trail, one also finds magnificent views of Lake Arenal, Costa Rica’s largest body of fresh water. Continue reading

MA History Student Rebekah Brown Used Local Research to Discover History of Women In Wood County

I developed this project for my Local History course that helped me develop a set of skills that was extremely useful in developing my MA thesis. I started out questioning what happened in the lives of women as a result of the 19th Amendment, which ensured the right of American women to vote. My thesis uses the participation of rural women within the Ohio League of Women Voters in the 1920s to examine how voluntary activism was shaped in Ohio during the first decade after women had the vote. Since my Local History paper needed to be strongly attached to specific place, I decided to make a thesis chapter a case study of how the League of Women Voters fared in reaching the rural women of Wood County, which was dominantly agricultural at the time. Continue reading

Dan Masters, History MA Student Awarded the Local History Publication Award for 2017

Dan Masters Bowling Green State University master’s student was awarded the Local History Publication Award for 2017 from the Center For Archival Collections presenting on his work on Shermans Praetorian Guard: Civil War Letters of John McIntrye Lemmon 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Masters created the book from of his work indexing the letters of American Civil War soldiers writing home to Northwest Ohio newspapers. Masters was drawn to the project after writing his first book No Greater Glory which examined the writing of the 144th Ohio Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. While researching the book he happened upon thousands of Civil War letters from soldiers from Northwest Ohio in local papers and wondered how much more of this material was there? Masters began to index the letters in collaboration with the Center for Archival Collections to create an index of the letters. Continue reading

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