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Chasing History: Industrialization And Sport

We're very happy to share some student work! Ian Williams, Devin Hayes, Ellen Stephens, Braxton Couch and Torey Hawkins discuss whether industrialization is a necessary prerequisite for modern sport. You can find out more about this class and see more student work at


Centre Trail Podcast 15: Frederick Douglass & Black Panther

Tara and John get together at the end of Black History Month to discuss the life of Frederick Douglass, whose two hundredth birthday was this past February 14th. We particularly focus on the impact of his famous memoir A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and think about this month’s release of the new superhero blockbuster Black Panther in light of the holiday.


Centre Trail Podcast 14: The Winter Olympics

Tara and John discuss the Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea and some wider historical questions around the Olympic Games. Where does this idea come from, how does it translate into a type of “Olympic ideal” and what are some of the ramifications of this for how countries interact with each other?


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.


Centre Trail Podcast 12: 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 about the use of that term, the role of prominent revolutionary figures in American politics and celebration of the revolutionary generation in American History.


Centre Trail Podcast Episode 11: Sport and Slavery

Tara and John get together to discuss their upper division classes in the spring of 2018. Tara is teaching classes on the American Revolution and the history of American slavery, while John is teaching a class on popular sport in a modern, global context. The conversation moves on to some pedagogy pretty quickly: how do professors build syllabi; how do we knit ideas together and how do we address practical concerns about work load and time management into the structure of our planned...


Centre Trail Podcast 9: Experimenting in Intensive Winter Terms

Tara and John return for our first podcast in 2018 to talk about how they utilize the intensive “CentreTerm” class as a platform for experimenting with topics and pedagogy. Tara discusses her brand new class on alternative histories and John discusses his class on history and video games, which he is teaching for the third time in four years. Join us to hear about how why we think the winter term is a good fit for trying new ideas. We have our students for three hours every day, and our...


Centre Trail Podcast 5: Black Panther, Africa and Race

Jon Earle welcomes Centre student Evan Aroko to discuss representations of Africa in film, specifically around the upcoming release of the Marvel Studios film Black Panther. The film offers of a new and interesting framework for interpreting narratives of violence and Western intervention in Africa, and also fits into a specific present-day context of representations of race in American and Western media. Evan Aroko also shares how these narratives influence his own work.


Centre Trail Podcast 3: Memory and History in the Classroom

Tara and John sit down to discuss memory in the classroom. We talk about personal memories of the September 11 attacks and relate it to our process in the classroom for creating connections to students. It raises a lot of interesting questions, not least of which the problem of historians’ need for distance from a topic conflicting with our students’ expectations. Tara talks us through Stephen Dove’s recent piece on DACA for the site, we chat a little about events in class, and John gets...