Student Research and Muskie Fellows
As a capstone project, the history senior seminar requires students to thoroughly research prospective sources (both primary and secondary sources, and occasionally sources in a foreign language), assess the value and validity of said sources, develop a methodology to explore their chosen topic, and then write and re-write a polished final project. Some recent seminar topics have been:
Recent Senior Seminar Projects
Tommy Berry, “The Hungarian Revolution of 1956”
Evan Daniel, “Three Liturgical Aspects of the Protestant Reformation: Baptism, the Eucharist, and Music in the Church”
Jake Duffy, “The ‘Temporary Employment’ of Women during World War II”
Austin Frederici, “Defining Genocide: Evidence and Reasons for Change”
Brock Hutchison, “Innovation, Invention, and American Exceptionalism at the World’s Columbian Exposition”
Karen Johnson, “The Influence of War on Art in a Culturally and Politically Infused World”
Kayla Kerman, “Life behind Barbed Wire: A Glimpse into the Japanese Internment Camp Experience”
Kaitlin Klein, “Education, Popular Media, and Dating in the 1950s”
Emily Klesner, “The Nuremberg Trials”
Katie Mell, “Cultural and Social Meanings of Tattooing in Japan”
Cam Peden, “Echoes of Fear: The Lost Voices of a Generation”
Eric Remlinger, “Euthanasia in Nazi Germany”
Chelsea Roberts, “East Liverpool Pottery: Macro- to Micro-Occurrences”
Kendra Rodgers, “Women, World War II and Propaganda: Temporary Disruption”
Ryan Wise, “The History of American Indian Education: The Significance of the Boarding School Movement, 1879-1928”
Nick Call, "The Evolution of the American Automotive Industry"
Joanna Clark, "Abraham the Advocate: The Road to Freedom via Antietam"
Garrett Frederici, "The Cuban Missile Crisis"
Ethan McNaghten, "Pablo Escobar: Who is responsible?"
Caitlin Staker, "A Musical Study. How the History of Theatre Influenced Musicals"
Tony Vaccaro, "Connecticut Vs. Cuba: The Similarities and Circumstances of a Changing Market for Cigars"
John Wellendorf, "A History of Violence in Cote d'Ivoire"
Taylor Stults Senior Seminar Research Award
Upon his retirement in 2001, the family of Taylor Stults endowed the Department of History at Muskingum with funds. In consultation with Taylor and his wife Jan, the department designated these funds to acknowledge outstanding research conducted by our senior majors. Since 2003, Dr. and Mrs. Stults have reviewed the nominated projects, decided the winners and presented the honor at the Phi Alpha Theta banquet. The winners are as follows:
Libby Buchanan (2003): “Children of the Reich: The Hitler Youth – Origin, Education, Resistance and Aftermath, 1936-1948.” Libby’s paper examine the methods utilized by the Nazi government to indoctrinate children, mainly through the educational system and the government-established groups, the Hitler Jugend and the Bund fur deutsches Madels. She utilized many primary sources including the Nazi Primer and several memoirs written by former members of the Hitler Youth.
Josh Lipps (2004): "From Bouts of Honor to Honor Cultures: A Relational Look at Dueling and Honor with Focus on America's Southern Culture." Josh Lipps's seminar explored the origins and development of dueling in the American South in the decades before the Civil War. He recounts a number of infamous dueling episodes in early 19th century America and then turns to an examination of honor cultures in general and the honor culture of the American South in particular. In the process, he draws on a wide range of sources, from traditional historical narratives, to the most significant recent historical works on antebellum Southern culture, and finally to the insights of anthropologists and social psychologists who explore the nature of honor cultures.
Michael Faeth (2005): “Yearning for Youth: A Cultural Examination of Ponce de León and the Fountain of Youth.” Mike’s seminar project drew together his training in History, Political Science and Spanish to probe the roots and longevity of the myth of the fountain of youth. His methodological framework builds from a careful exploration of de León’s early interaction with Spanish authorities (including Christopher Columbus and King Ferdinand) and natives both in Spain and in the “New World” to his leadership role in colonizing other area of the Caribbean, including the coast of Florida.
Daniel Cowden (2006): “Accepting the Showa Constitution: Development of “Westernization” in the Japanese Political Environment.” Dan’s seminar examines and challenges the popular conception of the “Westernization” of Japanese political development in the formulation of the Allied imposed Showa Constitution. Dan convincingly demonstrates that popular intellectual debate, associated with the Meiji Constitution of 1889, had already advanced similar and in some cases more radical Western inspired political alternatives.
Meredith Bowman (2007): “The Resonance of Silence: Ordinary German Reactions to Jewish Persecution.” This seminar project focused on both how “ordinary” Germans knew about and reacted to the persecution of Jews, particularly within German borders, but also within occupied lands. It also explored the role of threats and intimidations by the Gestapo and other enforcement agencies inside the Third Reich.
Matthew Harris (2008): "Stealing Thunder: The Demise of the Weather Underground and the Mass
Media" examined the media's characterization of the Weather
Underground (a leftist political organization) and how that
characterization contributed to its demise.
Megan Gray (2009): “Genocide in Darfur” investigates the historical roots of the Darfur crisis in the Sudan. Megan traced the history of Sudan since independence, examining the regional and ethnic divisions that have emerged in the fifty years since Britain’s withdrawal. She divided her study into three parts: from colonization to independence in the Sudan, a history of the Darfur region, and finally, the genocide and international response.
Ryan Worbs (2010): “The Americanization of Methodism, 1783-1830” argues that in
the wake of the American Revolution, Methodist leaders in this country acted
aggressively to align the denomination’s theology with the values of the new
Tim Knight (2011): “La ruta de ratas: German-Argentine relations and the post-World War II escape of Nazis to Argentina” examined the nature of relations between the Argentine government of Juan Perón and the war criminals of the Third Reich following the Nazi defeat in the Second World War in 1945.
Brock Hutchison (2012): "Innovation, Invention, and American Exceptionalism at the World's
Columbian Exposition" surveyed the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago from
the perspective of the average American citizen. This examination
sought to answer how the fair fostered American Exceptionalism amongst
fairgoers and gave visitors an idea of what life was going to be like in
the ensuing 19th century.
In addition to independent research, students also have the opportunity to engage in research with a faculty member through a campus internship program called Muskie Summer Fellows. Some recent Muskie Summer Fellows were:
Erin Stevic -- Conducting Research at Ohio Historical Society for Dr. Kerrigan's book on Johnny Appleseed; developing GIS maps for this book, organizing notes and creating a database.
Ben Shueler -- Conducting Oral Histories with farmers displaced by strip mines and strip mine workers; census and archival research on 13 townships affected by surface mining in the second half of the 20th century.
Melissa Nash -- Researching and writing biographies of notable Muskingum Alumni for use by the Development Office.
Allison Avolio - Researching the black market and Displaced Persons in postwar Germany; conducting research for a bibliography on Displaced Persons for publication on the USHMM website.