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
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
The Department of History at BGSU is delighted to announce that Professor Mary L. Dudziak, a leading U.S. legal historian and the 2017 President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), will present this fall the 2018 Gary R. Hess Lecture in Policy History on Monday, October 22ndat 4:00pmin the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Room 228.
Professor Dudziak’s lecture, tentatively entitled “The War Powers Pivot: How Congress Lost its Power in Korea,”will derive from the Korean War chapter in her forthcoming book, Going to War: An American History. Under contract with Oxford University Press, the book will present a revisionist account of the decline of political restraints on presidential war power. Her research on the topic has been influenced by Dr. Hess’s book, Presidential Decisions for War.We believe her discussion of the Korean conflict and presidential war powers will be particularly timely.
Professor Dudziak is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law at Emory University. Her recent and current research lies at the intersection of domestic law and U.S. international affairs, examining war and political accountability in American history. She is the author of War·Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2012); and editor of September 11 in History: A Watershed Moment? (Duke University Press, 2003); She founded the Legal History Blog and contributes to Balkinization, a group blog on constitutional law, theory, and politics. .
Many of us have admired Professor Dudziak’s scholarship since the appearance of her earlier work that examined the impact of Cold War foreign affairs on civil rights policy. She is the author of Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall’s African Journey (Oxford University Press, 2008); Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2000) (2nd ed. 2011); and co-editor (with Leti Volpp) of Legal Borderlands: Law and the Construction of American Borders, a special issue of American Quarterly(September 2005), reissued by Johns Hopkins University Press in March 2006. Other works on civil rights history and 20th-century constitutional history have appeared in numerous law reviews and other journals.
Prior to joining Emory Law in 2012, she was the Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Professor of Law, History and Political Science at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law; she also held joint appointments in USC’s departments of history and political science. Prior to joining USC Law, she was a law clerk for Judge Sam J. Ervin, III, of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and a professor of law and history at the University of Iowa. Prof. Dudziak served as the John Hope Franklin Visiting Professor of American Legal History at Duke Law School and as the William Nelson Cromwell Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She has also been a Distinguished Visitor at the University of Maryland School of Law.
Professor Dudziak earned JD, MA, MPhil and PhD degrees from Yale University and an AB from the University of California, Berkeley.
Established by Dr. Hess’s former students to recognize his forty-five years of service to the department, BGSU, and the profession, Gary R. Hess Lecture in Policy Historyis an annual distinguished lecture invites a senior scholar in the field of foreign relations or military history to present a public lecture on a topic in their field of expertise.
Past presenters of the Gary R. Hess Lecture in Policy History:
2017 “ The Paradox of Wilsonianism: World War I and American Internationalism”
Lloyd Ambrosius, University of Nebraska
2016 “A Grain of SALT: Arms Control, the Soviet Threat, and the War on the CIA”
Richard Immerman, Temple University
2015 “Mission Accomplished or Mission Failure? The United States and Iraq since 1990”
Peter L. Hahn, Ohio State University
2014 “The Atomic Bombings Reconsidered”
Barton J. Bernstein, Stanford University
2013 “Are Indians Part of Diplomatic History?”
Walter L. Hixson, University of Akron
2011 “Analogies at War: The Use and Misuse of History in Foreign Policy Decision-Making”
George Herring, University of Kentucky
Nathan Boyle, recently named the Director of Project Management at the Thread Marketing Group, has had a successful business career as a consultant in marketing and e-commerce. Despite this, his collegiate career didn’t start with a business degree; instead, he graduated BGSU with a degree in history. The path may seem odd, but not for Nathan, who credits his training in historical skills as a major boost for his career. Dr. Amílcar Challú and I interviewed Nathan about his views about the importance of college-level historical training in launching a career.
It did not take much prodding to get to Nathan’s opinion about why studying history matters: “[It] developed certain skills that set me apart from traditional business applicants” in my first job, he said. “Critical thinking skills are the most important characteristic a person can have in any field. Unfortunately, the skill is not taught in grade school and many college programs do not teach it either.” History programs, on the other hand, teach and develop critical thinkers, which set historians apart. From understanding historical significance, to interpreting the past from varied and potentially biased evidence, historians are expected to think critically about everything. Expanding on the advantages critical thinking and other historical skills such as analysis, organization and perspective provided him, Nathan states that his history degree allowed him to pursue any career he wanted post-university life. “History afforded me a virtual blank check. I could go to law school. Business school. Become a doctor. Go to history graduate school. Get a job. Do whatever I wanted.” History degrees do not all go on to become professors or get a PhD. Many go into business, become museum professionals, work for the government, go to law school, etc. Historians and their skills are universal across the world.
Can you give an advice to current history students? Education itself is the most important aspect of going to college, not having a set-in career path. “Educating yourself is the most important thing as it develops responsible societal citizens who can make a better world. You do not need a set career in place. I didn’t! No matter what you do, no one can take your education from you.” He urges students to take your time, enjoy the ride, and develop the skills necessary to succeed later in life. As Nathan so eloquently stated, “You can make your career later,” especially with a liberal arts degree in history. Asked for final comments related to the question of if he had any regrets studying history instead of business or other, more “practical” degrees, he laughed simply yet stated emphatically “none”.
Next time somebody asks you what you can do with a history degree, simply say “whatever I want.” Because, as Nathan Boyle pointed out and proves, you truly can go anywhere and do anything, especially when accompanied by universal skills honed by the historical process.
John Stawicki. John Stawicki is a recent History alum. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in history as well as a CPA.
The Department of History is recruiting a full-time instructor in the field of Ancient History. Please check bgsu.hiretouch.com for the full description. (If the link doesn’t work, please check go to bgsu.hiretouch.com, then search the History Department posting.) It’s a great time to join us: excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, professional development, curriculum innovation, and great colleagues and students. The deadline to apply for the position is June 21.
The Department of History is pleased to announce that Dr. Jackson will be offering a new course in the fall: HIST 3910, “Slave Resistance, Fugitivity and the Underground Railroad.”
The course counts as an elective in the History major and minor, it is cross-listed with Ethnic Studies 3000, and fulfills the upper-division requirement of the Multidisciplinary Core of the College of Arts and Sciences. It will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 11:30-12:20.
From Dr. Jackson:
There are only a few well known instances of slave rebellion in the United States, and only one successful revolution in the Americas, a fact that slave owners often used to assert that enslaved people were happy with their bondage. But as Harriet Tubman allegedly said, “There were two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.” Enslaved people constantly resisted the dehumanization of their enslavement in any way they could, even if it cost them their lives. This course looks at the history of slavery through the eyes of people who refused to let the institution of slavery rob them of the large and small freedoms all humans crave. We will consider slave narratives, rebellions and representations of slave resistance in popular culture (films, novels, television). The course will also investigate the important role that Ohio, especially northwest Ohio, and Michigan, in particular Detroit, played in the history of the Underground Railroad and free Black communities.
We held our annual Celebration of Excellence in History today. This was a collaborative effort of faculty, staff, Phi Alpha Theta and alums to recognize undergraduate and graduate student achievement with awards and scholarships.
LAWRENCE FRIEDMAN OUTSTANDING GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH AWARD
Established in 1993 in honor of Dr. Lawrence J. Friedman, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of the Department of History. This award is given for outstanding graduate student research. The dissertation/thesis must be nominated in writing by the student’s mentor.
Presented by Dr. Ruth W. Herndon to Michael Horton
OUTSTANDING GRADUATE SEMINAR PAPER
Awarded to a graduate student that submits the best paper from a History class during the 2017 year (Spring, Summer, and Fall 2017 semesters).
Presented by Dr. Michael E. Brooks to Chris Lause
Honorable Mention: Rebekah Brown
OUTSTANDING TEACHING ASSISTANT AWARD
This award is presented to the graduate student recognized as the outstanding teaching assistant in the BGSU Department of History.
Presented by Dr. Kara E. Barr to Kaysie Harrington
OUTSTANDING DEPARTMENTAL CITIZEN AWARD
This award is presented to a graduate student for meritorious contributions to the BGSU Department of History.
Presented by Dr. Rebecca J. Mancuso to Kyle Penzinski
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXCELLENCE IN HISTORY AWARD
Presented to an undergraduate student who submits an excellent history research paper based on primary sources. Recipient agrees to present their work in a public forum sponsored by the Department of History.
Presented by Dr. Luke A. Nichter to Austin Kepling: “Thunderclap from a Cloudless Sky: German-Americans in Northwest Ohio during the Great War” Written for Dr. Benjamin Greene’s HIST 4800: 20th Century America (Fall 2017)
JO ENGER ARTHUR SCHOLARSHIP FOR STUDY ABROAD
Created in 2001 by Jo Enger Arthur’s son, Mike Arthur, BGSU class of 1974, in honor of his mother’s interest in history and overseas travel. Jo Arthur studied history at BGSU, where she later met her husband E. Printy Arthur, BGSU class of 1950. This scholarship offers support for study abroad for majors or minors in history, integrated social studies, international studies, or European language. Applicants will normally have completed at least 12 hours of history courses and have a GPA in history of 3.2 or higher.
Presented by Dr. Kara E. Barr to Emily Ambrose
STUART R. AND FLORENCE P. GIVENS SENIOR HISTORY SCHOLARSHIP
Established in 2001 in honor of Dr. Stuart R. Givens, former Chair and Professor Emeritus of the History Department, and University historian, and his wife Florence P. Givens. Dr. Given’s forty-five year career was dedicated primarily to his two loves – teaching and service to the University and to the Bowling Green community. This award is presented to a rising senior majoring in history or integrated social studies with a minimum GPA of 3.2. The student must have a strong record of service to the department, University, or community.
Presented by Dr. Rebecca J. Mancuso to Cooper Clark
THE GROVER AND VIRGINIA PLATT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Established in 1989 in memory of Dr. Grover Platt, former Chair and Professor Emeritus of the Department of History by his wife Dr. Virginia Platt. The scholarship was later changed by the couple’s daughter, Carolyn V. Platt, to honor both parents. Dr. Virginia Platt was a former trustee of the University and served on the History Department faculty. Awarded to an undergraduate student majoring in history. Preference given to students who are the first generation of their family to attend a college or university, and recognizes academic achievement.
Presented by Dr. Nicole M. Jackson to Rebecca Good and Annebell Meddock
JOHN SCHWARZ ESSAY AWARD
Established in honor of John Schwarz, former Chair of the Department of History. This scholarship is awarded to a history major for the best essay completed for a history requirement.
Presented by Dr. Luke A. Nichter to Ernest Valladares III “Disaster in Africa: An Examination of the Combat Development of the United States Army at Kasserine Pass,” written for Dr. Benjamin Greene’s HIST 4800: 20th Century America (Fall 2017)
GENERAL NILES J. FULWYLER HISTORY SCHOLARSHIP
Established for the purpose of providing scholarships to History students and to honor the memory of Dr. Virginia Platt. General Fulwyler received the BGSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1984. Dr. Virginia Platt was a former trustee of the University and served on the History Department faculty.
Presented by Dr. Apollos Okwuchi Nwauwa to Rebecca Good and Jacob Money
MARY ELLEN KEIL SCHOLARSHIP
Established by Mary Ellen Keil, a graduate of BGSU. Keil was a school teacher and later served as a Captain in the USAFR during WWII. This scholarship is granted to a student who has declared an interest in pursuing studies in history. Preference is given to females, native Ohioans, and for scholastic achievement. All eligible candidates are automatically referred to the department by the enrolling office. There is no application for the scholarship.
Presented by Dr. Amílcar E. Challú to Renee Altaffer; Debi Kaur; Moira Armstrong; Annabelle Meddock; Kelly Beavers; Anne Mier; Aislinn Bill; Sarah Miller; Chloe Bortz; Megan Miner; Rebecca Good; Kaitlin Osborne; Alannah Graves; Kinzey Schreiber; Haley Hoffman; Olivia Vandevender; Taylor Holtman; Brooke Weirick; Victoria Kahrs; Mary Wires; Alexis Karolin.
OUTSTANDING SENIOR IN HISTORY AWARD
Presented to a senior history major for service to the Department and fellow majors combined with demonstrated academic excellence.
Presented by Dr. Rebecca J. Mancuso to Jake Householder
Special recognition for an exemplary role in leading the History Society, assistance with the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, social media, Preview and Presidents’ Day or other History Department activities and events.
Presented by Dr. Nicole M. Jackson to Dominique Seo
First, the Center of Archival Collections at BGSU, in partnership with the History Department, has obtained an Ohio History Connections grant to digitize interviews with WWII veterans and holocaust survivors. The interviews were collected from 2001 to 2004 by students enrolled in the HIST3030 course on World War II, under the direction of Dr. Walter Grunden. Both Dr. Grunden and Kasey Harrington, M.A. student in History with a specialization in Public History, are core contributors to this project. The project is led by Michelle Sweetser, head of the Center for Archival Collections. Dr. Grunden and Sweetser regularly teach graduate seminars in History and the Graduate Certificate of Public History; Kasey Harrington has contributed to this project since her senior year as a major in History; she is graduating from our M.A. program in May.
Additionally, the Wood County Historical Society obtained funding to improve the storage of artifacts in its collection and serve as a model of stewardship practices for other institutions. The project is led by Holly Hartlerode, who regularly teaches ACS/HIST 6530, Historical Organization, in the Graduate Certificate of Public History.
A full description of the grant is available in The Toledo Blade: http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2018/03/02/BGSU-s-collection-of-World-War-II-era-stories-to-be-digitized.html
The grants demonstrate the contributions of our public history program to the preservation and diffusion of the history of our region.
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.
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.