Sunday, March 22, 2015

20th Annual Baseball in Literature and Culture Conference

It's that time of year again! My secular talk on Spring Training* is on a panel discussing baseball, religion, and Genesis. I suppose that's apt: in the beginning was the Grapefruit and the Cactus...

Sadly, this is the last of these conferences to be hosted by my school. Next year it moves to Kansas City. I'll have to travel quite a bit more than the few steps from my office to the conference site I've grown accustomed to.

POSTSCRIPT: Ken Griffey is this year's conference headliner. I happen to have had a copy of Ken Burns' Baseball (the book) on hand in my office, which he graciously signed on page 460 below the photo of his son greeting him at the plate after his (KG Sr's) first HR as a Seattle Mariner.

"My Oh My"

Agenda for 20th Annual Baseball in Literature and Culture Conference

April 3, 2015 - Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Middle Tennessee State University)

7:45-8:15 Registration and Breakfast

8:10-8:15 Welcome: Warren Tormey, Conference Coordinator

8:15-9:00 Keynote Address: Sarah Bunting,

9:05-10:00 Concurrent Sessions A

Session A1: Baseball in the 1920’s and 30’s
Location: Hazlewood Chair:

Michael Pagel, Northeast State University:
“Luke Goodwood Strikes Out in Robert Penn Warren’s ‘Goodwood Comes Back’”

Nick Bush, Motlow State University

“The Berg Identity: A Short Story Adventure Advantage About a Princeton Catcher Turned WWII Spy”

Dan Anderson, Dominican University:
“'This Harlem Urge’: Garveyite Nationalism, Black Aesthetics, and Negro League Baseball in the Interstate-Tattler.”

Session A2: Baseball Historians and Baseball History
Location: Dining Rm. C Chair:

Dallas Hanbury, Middle Tennessee State University:
“Play Ball! Du Pont Company Baseball in Old Hickory, Tennessee” (Part 1)

Ronnie Pugh, Nashville Public Library:

“Play Ball! Du Pont Company Baseball in Old Hickory, Tennessee” (Part 2)

Josh Howard, Middle Tennessee State University:

“The Wendell Smith Exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame”

10:15-11:15 Concurrent Sessions B
Session B1: Late 19th Century Baseball

Location: Hazlewood Chair:

Scott Peterson, Wright State University:
“Sporting Life Journalism in 1890”

James Jones, Tennessee Historical Commission:
“’Play Ball!’ The First Year of Professional Baseball in Tennessee, 1885”

Skip Nipper,
“The Americans in the Southern League: Nashville’s First Professional Baseball Players”

*Session B2: Baseball and Spirituality
Location: Dining Rm. C Chair:

Phil Oliver, Middle Tennessee State University:
“Spring Training and the Perennial Renewal of Life”

Brian Steverson, Knoxville TN:
“Baseball Literature-Bible Literature: Cultural Interconnectivity”

Warren Tormey, Middle Tennessee State University:
“Imposing the Genesis Narrative onto the Vintage Game”

Session B3: Baseball in Creative Writing
Location: Faculty Senate Chambers Chair:

Bob Johnson, Eastern Kentucky University:

David Veve, Dalton State University:
“Baseball Graphin’: Collecting Baseball Autographs and the Day My Fiance’ Should Have Dumped Me!”

Jacob Collins-Wilson:
“Poems about Baseball”

11:25-12:05 Concurrent Sessions C
Session C1: Dramatic Reading

Location: Hazlewood Chair:
Crosby Hunt, Middle Tennessee State University

Monologue Adapted from Jonathan Schwartz’s “A Day of Light and Shadows”

12:15-1:30 Luncheon and Ken Griffey Talk
Tennessee Room
12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-1:30 Ken Griffey Talk (~30 min. talk + 10 min. Q&A)

Book Signing in James Union Lobby to follow talk

2:00-3:00 Concurrent Sessions D
Session D1: Baseball and Commodity

Location: Hazlewood Chair:
Andrew Hazucha, Ottawa University:

“The Joe Tinker Project: One Kansas Town’s Attempt to Save Itself”

Shawn O’Hare, Carson-Newman University:
“Tug McGraw, Cartoonist”

Sylvio Lynch, Bowling Green State University:
“The American Baseball Card and Youth Culture”
Session D2: Baseball in Cultural Contexts
Location: Dining Rm. C Chair:

Tim Mirabito, Marist College and Robin Hardin, University of Tennessee:
“The Healing Power of Baseball in Post 9/11 New York”

Seth Roberts: “Sugar and Spanish Speaking Influences”

Steven Andrews, Grinnell College:
"From Intercollegiate to Intramural and Back Again: Grinnell College Baseball, 1867-1957."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Leonard Nimoy's last tweet* echoed the ironic humanism of his Vulcan alter-ego, the hopefulness of his boss, and the optimism of this old post:

“A lot of science-fiction is nihilistic and dark and dreadful about the future, and ‘Star Trek’ is the opposite,” Mr. Nimoy said. “We need that kind of hope, we need that kind of confidence in the future. I think that’s what ‘Star Trek’ offers. I have to believe that — I’m the glass-half-full kind of guy.”
* Leonard Nimoy @TheRealNimoy  ·  Feb 23
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
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