BGSU History Department Hands-on Learning
Independent historical research makes our major distinctive. Our History students do independent research at every level. History 4790 and 4800 provide special opportunities to design a research project and carry it through to its conclusion in a 20-page final paper.
As one former student put it:
"The entire process of interpreting, analyzing and critiquing primary sources is where the opportunity for real personal growth lies. The state of Ohio emphasizes the importance of using primary sources in the high school classroom and after writing my HIST 4800 paper I feel more confident than ever that I know a thing or two about what I'm doing. I can't wait to get out into the 'real-world' and lead my students in a similar endeavor."
- 2007 Nieman Recipient Samuel SpurlinOur annual History Research Symposium features a selection of the best papers from History 4800, our advanced history research seminar. The presenters in 2012 were:
- Emily H. Teater, "Volksgemeinschaft: The Rise of Nazi Ideology."
- Nicholas J. Blaine, "Cross Border Warriors: Canadian Involvement in the US Civil War."
- Derek S. Reiman, "Organized Crime in the Soviet Union."
- Rachel C. Pawlowicz, "Teaching Atrocity: Discussing Unit 731 in Ohio's K-12 Schools."
- Mark Krause, "A Moderate Communist Revolution."
- Robert E. Fitzgerald, "Settler Situation and the Struggle for Independence in Kenya and the Gold Coast."
- Kallie D. Durkit, "First People, Last Citizens: An Analysis of the Path to Native American Citizenship, 1865-1965, and Why It Was Denied for So Long."
- Ariel L. Jones, "Pointing Fingers."
Besides History 4800, students have pursued independent research projects with support of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS) and the mentorship of a History faculty member. CURS Fall and Spring grants fund trips to regional libraries, acquisition of materials and other expenses related to research, while the Summer grants provide research funds and a stipend. Recent CURS scholars include:
- Joel Guzmán, Spring research project on Spanish-Native Alliances in the Conquest of Mexico.
- Clayton Oppenhuizen: Summer research project on US foreign policy and labor movements in Latin America
- Robert E. Fitzgerald: Summer research project on living standards of populations in West Africa circa 1800.
History students also present their work in on-campus and regional conferences, such as the Africana Studies Colloquium, the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Conference, the Women's Studies Conference, as well as the Phi Alpha Theta Conference. Recent undergraduate presenters for 2012 Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference include Kallie D. Durkit and Emily H. Teater.