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Skidmore College
American Studies Department

Daniel A. Nathan

Daniel Nathan

Like my grandfather and father, I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised as an Orioles fan. Unlike them, however, I grew up in Flint, Michigan, of Roger & Me fame. I attended Allegheny College where I was a double History and English major, and spent part of my junior year studying in London. I earned my M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. After teaching at Miami University in Ohio, for four years, I was the Fulbright Professor of North American Studies at the University of Tampere in Finland.

I have eclectic, wide-ranging interests. All of my courses and most of my writing projects are interdisciplinary and most engage the politics of cultural representation, popular culture, and history. One of my primary areas of interest is American sport. My book Saying It's So: A Cultural History of the Black Sox Scandal (2003) engages all of these subjects. I have also written essays and book, film, and exhibition reviews for Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, American Quarterly, American Studies, The International Journal of the History of Sport, Journal of American Studies, Journal of Sport History, and the OAH Magazine of History. In addition, I have collaborated with two former Skidmore students, Peter Berg and Erin Klemyk, on an essay titled "'The Truth Wrapped in a Package of Lies': Hollywood, History, and Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York" published in Lights, Camera, History: Portraying the Past in Film (2007). I have also contributed chapters to numerous anthologies, including Baseball in America and America in Baseball (2008), All-Stars and Movie Stars: Sports in Film and History (2008), and Sport and the Law: Historical and Cultural Intersections (2014). I have edited Rooting for the Home Team: Sport, Community, and Identity (2013) and Baltimore Sports: Stories from Charm City (2016), and co-edited with anthropologist George Gmelch Baseball Beyond Our Borders: An International Pastime (2017).

My writing complements my teaching, as both stress interdisciplinarity and the multiple ways that we can know the past. I have taught classes on the 1950s, how Hollywood filmmakers have represented the American past, popular culture as public history, sport and American culture, American autobiography, E.L. Doctorow's America, global perspectives of the United States, and the HBO series The Wire.

Active in the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH), I was the organization’s President (2013-2015). I have also served as the Film, Media, and Museum Reviews editor for the Journal of Sport History and am on several editorial boards. Here at Skidmore, I have Chaired the Department of American Studies, the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP), the Appointments and Tenure Committee (ATC), and the Athletic Council.

In 2019, I was awarded the Douglas Family Chair in American Culture, History, and Literary and Interdisciplinary Studies.