Areas of Interest
I have varying interests throughout American History, which is nice because I am still in the formative years of my career as a historian. My main interests coming into Virginia Tech were in Political History concerning the formation of the Early American Republic. James Madison is a fascinating historical character, and his work with the Federalist Papers between the 2nd Constitutional Convention and Virginia’s ratification of the US Constitution was a main catalyst of the formation of the new republic. Since entering graduate school I have learned a lot of new ideas and my interests have expanded accordingly. I enjoy studying gender history, sports history, and my newest interest is Public History focusing on digital applications of history.
My current research focuses on gender at the turn of the 20th century. In this paper I look at the hyper-masculinity surrounding college football. I argue that college football replaced pugilism and cockfighting as the game of the working class young man as a means for helping young men create their own masculinity at the end of the 20th century. These men felt a profound loss of masculinity as their parents and families moved to cities and the ideal of masculinity changed, but they thought that they could regain their own masculinity through toughness and physical prowess, both of which can be found on a football field in the 19th century.
I am in the early stages of co-founding an annually printed scholarly journal focused on papers presented at the annual Brian Bertoti Innovative Perspectives in History Conference. This journal would take a number of the best papers submitted to the annual conference and give those historians a place to publish their work. Publishing opportunities for graduate students are scarce, and we want to promote graduate student research in this journal.