Olympic Roundup

In honor of our podcast coming out tomorrow, here are a few links to good reads about the olympics: Why are Jamaican runners so good? This article tackles some of the historical and cultural issues embedded in that question. Skis are more than 4,000 years old.  And according to this piece they have changed a ...

Centre Trail Podcast 13: St. Valentine’s Day and Lent

Tara and John talk about St. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, which this year fall on the same day, raising interesting comparisons about their broader cultural impact. Come for the discussion of historical context of two juxtaposed cultural practices, stay for the sweet Anne of Cleves references.

We are Pain and What Cures Pain, Both

Below is a story from Tara’s CentreTerm Class on Alternate History.  Our author is Aarthi Vadhanam, a senior math major, who chose to think about the creation of the modern Middle East.  In this story, she imagines an Iran that was friendly with the United States and a major player in Middle Eastern politics.  She ...

Standing Armies and Military Parades

The latest news cycle is full of reports concerning President Trump’s desire to have a grand military parade in Washington D.C. The impetus behind this supposedly lies with the President’s positive reaction to experiencing France’s annual Bastille Day parade in person and a desire to recognize the service of the men and women of the ...

British Football and Working Class Culture

This week in my upper division class on the history of popular sport in the modern world, we are talking about working class culture in nineteenth century Britain and the development of professional association football (soccer, to my students). In Britain today, soccer retains the aura of a working class sport, albeit one under assault. ...

Centre Trail Podcast Twelve: When is a sport a sport, and what’s a Founding Father?

Tara and John get together as the spring semester at Centre College starts to get underway. John is teaching the history of modern popular sport, and he talks a little about how to define sports and what kind of interesting historical questions that activity raises. Tara revisits her blog post on Founding Fathers, and talks ...

“Founding Fathers”

Did you know that the phrase “founding fathers” wasn’t coined until 1916? It was then that Warren Harding used that wording in a speech to the Republican National Convention.  Somehow, I always find this a surprising fact.  Have Americans only thought about the revolutionary generations as father figures for a century? Americans before 1916 certainly ...