Dr. Douglas Forsyth discusses The Ukraine War: Sanctions from the USA and its allies on Russia, and Russia’s withholding of gas from Europe upending world energy markets


, , , ,

An Excerpt of “Energy Geopolitics,” for the Foreign Policy Association, and the Wood County Committee on Aging’s Great Decisions Lecture Series, 2023, Bowling Green (21 January 2023)

Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Bucha, Ukraine, 2022.
Image courtesy of Stocklib Royalty Free Images.

When the Russians invaded the Ukraine last February, they hoped to use Europe’s dependence on Russian energy deliveries, particularly gas, to soften the reaction of the West, and perhaps also to split the West’s reaction to Russian aggression. 

They hoped in particular that the Germans would remain somewhat conciliatory.  Russia was supplying the EU with 40% of its natural gas before the war began.  Natural gas constituted 25% of Germany’s energy supply, and Russia supplied 55% of Germany’s gas consumption.  Moreover, Germany and Russia were about to open Nordstream II, the second major pipeline under the Baltic Sea, which permitted the direct shipment of Russian gas to Germany, without passing through Polish or Ukrainian territory. 

Continue reading

I Wish I Bought Another Miller’s Twist Pretzel and Other Thoughts About the AHA 2023 Conference by Chloe S. Kozal

In this photo, I’m ecstatic to be in an art museum for the first time since 2020 and simultaneously wondering how the Philadelphia Art Museum got this massive archway inside the building.

Next time you’re in Philly, go to the Reading Terminal Market and buy yourself a Miller’s Twists hot pretzel. You won’t regret it! Now to the more exciting part- the American Historical Association’s 2023 Conference!

I absolutely loved the sense of community and learning environment at the conference. Historians are very kind, nerdy, and love to share their research with others. I loved making connections with people at the conference, particularly with other undergraduate students who shared a similar love for the 1970s.

Continue reading

Rice, Rocky, and Reading: Reflections from the American Historical Association’s Annual Conference by Chase W. Fleece

Chase W. Fleece presented his research on “Rice is the Price: American Agriculturalists as Counterinsurgents in South Vietnam, 1964-73” at the American Historical Association’s Undergraduate Lightning Round.

During the winter break, I had the incredible opportunity to present research at the 136th annual conference of the American Historical Association in the “City of Brotherly Love.” Along side nine other burgeoning undergraduate scholars, I presented “Rice is the Price: American Agriculturalists as Counterinsurgents in South Vietnam, 1964-73” in a lightning round style panel on the Vietnam War and the Global 70s. Being the only scholar – among only a handful of others in the entire conference – focusing on agricultural history, I had the unique opportunity to introduce others to its infinite wonders (for my fellow graduate students, I didn’t introduce myself as “Corn King”). For those interested in reading a short synopsis of my research, I have included the abstract below.

Continue reading

Froggie went a’courtin as ecological knowledge by Dr. Amílcar E. Challú

Reposted from Dr.Challú’s personal blog, visit this link here for more content!

Illustration of the song, in a book at the Smithsonian library.

In my #envhist class we have music breaks to chill, have fun, and dig into the themes of the class. Next week it’s my turn to bring a song and I chose Froggy Went A’Courtin.

Froggy is a terrific example of how (traditional?) ecological knowledge sneaks up in folklore and more broadly our culture. In Froggy I hear the echoes of nature observation and ecological knowledge that imho help understand the playfulness surrounding the song, its resilience and adaptability to convey different meanings depending on the context.

My favorite version is the Boss’s recording in The Seeger Sessions. But this is one of the oldest folksongs published in English (1st versions dating from 16th century). Most versions, Springsteen’s among them (check lyrics here), share a structure and major characters. Based on the described habitats, we can identify froggy with the common frog, present all over the British Isles and Europe and the subject of multiple European folk traditions1. Most interpretations dwell on the undertones of political commentary and critique of the song. And there is a strong tradition of folklore studies highlighting the lineage of the song and the mutual borrowings with other traditions.2

In the first part Froggy proposes to Miss Mousie, then seeks Uncle Rat’s consent. Common frogs and mice do not compete or have a predatorial relationship. Common frogs can live in human gardens and farms, while mice and rats also add human-built environments to their habitat. Froggy the outsider steps into the human habitat (Mousie’s door) and follows human social norms. The ridiculous pairing adds to the reading of these passages as political parody.

In the second part things get a bit more real. The wedding takes place in a hollow tree, insects come to supper, then a snake either eats Froggy or chases him into the lake; some versions add a duck eating Froggy. All these are actual ecological relations. Frogs prey on insects. The grass snake and ducks are the natural predators of frogs, and this does happen near standing water.

After the implausible marriage of a common frog and a mouse, the wedding scene is a reality check based on actual predatorial relations. Certainly this is still a fable mixing animal and human behaviors. The junie bug comes with a jug of whisky, the flying moth lays the tablecloth. All adds to the playfulness of the song and provides a template to add more impossible elements in each new performance of the song.

Froggy is not a lesson in ecology — and more broadly #folklore and #StoryTelling don’t have fixed meanings. I propose that it simply shows a shared understanding based on ecological knowledge derived from everyday observation, ranging from the implausible to everyday life around the farm or the house. Nature observation provides a language & a script with which folks can articulate different messages.

This is an aside, but as someone interested in the history of Food Security I feel it’s worth adding. The song ends there in some versions, but more frequently ends with something similar to #Springsteen’s ending: “Little piece of cornbread laying on a shelf. If you want any more, you can sing it yourself”. This type of ending is common throughout #folklore traditions. This mention harks back to Darnton’s idea that this common trope in fairy tales likely reflects on anxieties about lacking enough food.

Thanks for going with me into this rabbit hole. Let me know if I got any aspect of the story or the underlying ecological relations wrong. And please chime in with your thoughts!

Sources for images and text:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frog_Went_a-Courting : very good, has excellent bibliography on the folk traditions.
  • A political reading in Albert Jack, Pop Goes the Weasel: Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes.
  • Howard Inns, Britain’s Reptiles and Amphibians. https://doi-org.ezproxy.bgsu.edu/10.2307/j.ctvs32rjq.16
  • Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre, “Peasant Tell Tales”


  • Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smithsonianlibraries/4863761034
  • Springsteen’s version: https://youtu.be/ElIZNKklPR4
  1. Darnton’s “Peasant Tell Tales” briefly discusses frogs; traditions connecting frogs and mice go back into the antiquity, e.g. Aesop’s fable. ↩︎
  2. The wikipedia entry does a fair job with its history and sourcing the information from reputable sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frog_Went_a-Courting ↩︎

Doing History: The Blog of the History Undergraduate Research Seminar (Spring 2022)

Check out this link to student research projects on the following:


Historians Take Over Grand Rapids, Michigan!

By Kasandra Fager, BGSU History MA student, edited by Chloe S. Kozal

BGSU History Graduate Students pose outside the Grand Rapids Public History Museum in Grand Rapids, MI. Photo by: Kate Brekke.

Imagine the best museum you have visited, whether that was a Presidential Museum, a battlefield, or an art museum. Did it have interactive exhibits, a planetarium, an easy-to-read narrative, or a family-friendly atmosphere? Well, if nothing comes to mind, consider Grand Rapids, Michigan as your next destination!

Continue reading

“1972: From the End of the Vietnam War to the Beginning of Watergate”, Dr. Benjamin Greene’s presentation featured in Wapakoneta Daily News

As we reflect on 50 years since 1972, we contemplate how past events and historical figures impact our present history. Students of Dr. Greene will learn more about this influential period in the HIST 3334/3334H: The Vietnam War course in Fall 2022.

Read the article here

Student Podcasts from Dr. Challú’s Modern Mexico Course

Podcast links will be updated frequently!

Chloe S. Kozal : Mexican Civilian Protest Art during the 1960s-1980s

Chloe S. Kozal has been passionate about researching how civilians express their political views through art during tumultuous periods of history in Latin America. A continuation of her research and her article (Communication from Far: The Role of Subversive Mail Art During the Argentine Dirty War (1976-1983), this podcast investigates how Mexican artists and mail artists brought change and protest during the Mexican Dirty War.

Nicholas Hartzell- NPR Mexican Debt Crisis Talk

A podcast on the Mexican Debt Crisis in 1982. Listen on Spotify!

Connor Przysiecki- NAFTA, the Economy, and Mexico’s Public Heath Crisis

In Connor’s own words: ” This is my final project for a course I’m taking (Spring 2022) at Bowling Green State University, Modern Mexico. I’ve never done a project in this format. I’m open to civil conversations in the comments, if you’d like more context on a particular subject within this area of study. Enjoy!”

Skip to toolbar