How did you choose a career in the your discipline (History, English, Music, etc.)? My father was also a historian and so I developed a love of history as soon as I could read.
Where did you get your college degrees? I earned my Ph D in history from Ohio University in 2002
What’s your favorite memory of your career as a student? The day I finished my Ph D comps.
What are your research or professional interests? What are you working on now? In history geek speak I am a modern American cultural historian. While I’ve written on a number of topics, my primary research interest is the history of professional wrestling. Right now I’m in the midst of determining if I can find enough source material for a full-length biography of William Muldoon, the most prominent wrestler of the 19th century. Muldoon is one of the pivotal figures in the transition of pro wrestling from a respected and legitimate sport into the “sports entertainment” of the 20th century.
When did you start teaching at Rio? 2008
What subjects do you teach? American History
What is your favorite course to teach at Rio…and why? HIS 32203 – American Cultural History II. That course is in my sweet spot as a cultural historian. I’d like to think it has instilled a new appreciation of Spam in a generation of students
What’s the best part of teaching? Seeing students develop an interest in American history
What’s the worst? grading
If you could the spend the day with any historical figure, living or dead, who would it be? There are so many to choose from that it probably depends on what day you ask me. Earlier I was thinking about John of Leiden, so I’ll make him today’s choice.
What is your: Favorite book: The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Favorite musician: Ornette Coleman, Andrew Hill, & Mal Waldron
Favorite movie: anything with Pam Grier in it
Favorite food:?any food that can be augmented with my homemade barbeque sauce
If you could move anywhere, where would you go? Memphis – it’s my wife’s hometown and I’ve already spent a lot of time there.
Favorite quote: “To the mammoth room and see the mammoth cheese” – Thomas Jefferson
If you couldn’t have a career in your discipline, what would you do for a living? I have no other viable skills so I’d probably be living in a van down by the river.
What are your hobbies (outside your professional activity)? Reading, listening to music, tweaking my stereos. Hifi is very important in our house and we have four separate stereo systems. I am especially fond of tube gear.
Do you share your home with family or pets? My wife Kim Little is a women’s studies professor at Ohio University & my son Miller is a sophomore at URG. Outside of the family of chimney swifts who nest in our unused chimney every year we have no pets.
What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about you? I love to cook.