All posts by John

Centre Trail Podcast 17: Archives and Records of Human Knowledge

John and Tara talk about the tragic fire at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. What does it mean to lose these records of human knowledge, and how do historians approach the reality of limitations to the knowledge we have collected? What are archives and how do historians use them? We talk broadly ...

Centre Trail Podcast 16: Passing Away of Public Figures

Following the passing of Senator John McCain, we discuss the history of social conventions honoring the passing of public figures, particularly in political office. In the United States, the importance of lowering flags can become the center of huge discussions and arguments regarding respect; furthermore, John McCain’s passing and the trajectory of his political career ...

The truth, the whole truth and Marco Polo’s version of the truth

Marco! Polo! For years, I knew Marco Polo as so many others first come to know him, clearly an accomplished hider and seeker in medium sized swimming pools. In time I learned he was a Venetian trader who traveled the world, and only later learned the man was a rather shameless teller of tales if ...

Summer Research

Professors do not get summers off, at least not typically. Even at a teaching-focused institution like Centre College, research forms an important part of our professional lives, and given the strong focus on teaching the summer often presents the best opportunity to get some research done. As a direct result of that, I spent my ...

The Fall Approaches

Yet another blog post written with the hulking specter of all the blog posts I haven’t written this summer sitting behind me, rather pointedly not saying anything. Still, here we are, back again. I am excited about the autumn, with one of my favourite classes, “Creating the Orient”, making a comeback. Last time I taught ...

Chasing History: Industrialization and Sport

This past spring, I taught a class on Popular Sport & the Modern World, with a pretty wide brief… the basic outlines of the class held our discussions to the mid-nineteenth century and later, but we read and discussed topics from the emergence of association football in industrial England to segregation in American baseball to ...

Popular Sport and the Modern World

We are coming to the end of the term here at Centre College, with commencement only a few days away. This semester has proved to be very, very busy for us here. I have been completely wrapped up in my new class “Popular Sport and the Modern World.” I had buckets of fun, and was ...