Recent Blog Posts

Update (Sept. 15, 2016): Time flies in Texas. I’ve been working on some articles, attuning myself to this new Director of Public History position, teaching, and developing a book proposal. I have also watched 5.5 seasons of King of the Hill in the past month. I will be re-structuring this digital space in the next few weeks. Here’s what I have been up to:

  • Written a few book reviews for Sport in American History (1, 2) and the Journal of Sport History
  • Publication is moving ever closer for two articles set to appear in state journals.
    • “The Edith Lett Papers: The Federal Writers’ Project, West Virginia, and the Everyman Writer” in West Virginia History
    • “‘A good base ball club is a splendid advertisement to a town’: Baseball and the New South in Clifton Forge, Virginia” in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
  • Working on a couple of chapters for edited collections: one on Negro leagues commemoration, another with Liz Catte on the history of professional wrestling and alternative masculinities
  • Working steadily on Public History Norrath, a digital project on public history academic genealogy, and putting together book proposals. What a time.

nike wvu.jpgFriends of Coal and Sport: Blog #13, January 27, 2016

  • I wrote another pieces for Sport in American History, this time about the close connection between the coal mining industry and sport in Appalachia (with focus on West Virginia).


WRNHP cooccurrence chartWhat I’ve Been Up To: Text Mining: Blog #12, January 15, 2016

  • A brief update on my dissertation research as I enter the home stretch. Includes some discussion of word clouds and topic extraction.


Forrest Hall Info Dump: Getting Inside the President’s Head: Blog #11, November 23, 2015

  • After spending hours in archives this month, I just had to share some information I have found. This isn’t everything I’ve uncovered about my university’s connections to Nathan Bedford Forrest… it’s just some bits and pieces relevant to the story.
  • Liz Catte’s reflection on the Forrest Hall Task Force meeting earlier this month is very good. Check it out.


Legacy Square in PNC before being the Negro league memorial was removed.
Legacy Square in PNC before being the Negro league memorial was removed.

Disappointment in Pittsburgh: How the Pirates Ditched Pittsburgh’s Negro Leagues Past: Blog #10October 12, 2015

  • New post up on Sport in American History. I call out the Pirates quite directly, but in this case, I think its merited.
  • Update 2: My article was picked up by the New Pittsburgh CourierCool.

Update – #AASLH2015 Presentation & Blog Writings Elsewhere: September 24, 2015

  • My session at AASLH went very well. I presented with Barbara Franco (Seminary Ridge Museum) and John Rudy (National Park Service).
    • I spoke about visitors studies, ethnography, and how to learn from visitor-museum interactivity (even when museum staff aren’t around). I argued that we can learn a lot from talk-back boards, specifically about what museum visitors bring into the museum with them in terms of thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and so on.
    • I would share my 60-slide long presentation, but I’m going to make everyone wait until the dissertation.
  • Also met with a few sport history scholars and AASLH people… we’re forming a Working Group on Sport History. Plans are already underway, and this will be launched by the end of the year.
  • I wrote another piece for a website, more on MMO video games, oral history, digital identity, and so on. Please read it.

A Confederate on Campus: Nathan Bedford Forrest as MTSU’s Mascot: Blog #9, August 25, 2015

  • Article I wrote for the Sport in American History blog. Posted on my own blog here
  • Overview of MTSU’s past association with Confederate imagery, specifically former KKK-leader and overall terrible person Nathan Bedford Forrest. A call for MTSU to finally rid campus of the final public attachment to this “heritage,” Forrest Hall.

My cool little trophy from the SABR-Malloy conference.

My First SABR: A Conference Trip Report: Blog #8, August 11, 2015

  • I just got back from a research trip to State College, Gettysburg, and Pittsburgh. That dissertation is moving along quite nicely. 
  • I really enjoyed the SABR-Malloy conference. Everything there was super nice, and I met some really, really good sport historians.

Update – Book Review, History@Work, & NCPH Proposal: June 2, 2015

Screenshot of High Pass in EQ2

Forgotten Spaces of Norrath: Why We Need a History of Digital Spaces: Blog #7, May 21, 2015

  • A visual tour of abandoned digital space in one of my favorite games, Everquest II
  • A brief call for historians and publishers to consider the role of history in MMO gaming

A Memorial/Celebration in honor of Ribbitribbit in Everquest II
A Memorial/Celebration in honor of Ribbitribbit in Everquest II

Goodman and Ribbitribbit: How MMO Communities MemorializeBlog #6, April 28, 2015

  • Overview and analysis of in-game memorials to real-life individuals in various MMO games
  • Some thoughts on how to save these worlds and in-game memorials from fading away

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