Saturday, December 31, 2016

Recapping 2016: Things I Wrote, Read, and Listened To

I love to make end-of-the-year lists of my favorite books and music. Back when I was a high school teacher, I usually had time in late December to compile them and write up a short synopsis. Now that I'm working on my PhD, however, time is limited. I'm able to make the lists, but I don't quite have the time to provide any commentary. With that in mind, I bring you these old tweets to represent the 2016 version of my end-of-the-year book and music lists.

Although there were plenty of other very good books that I read in 2016, at the time of that tweet I felt comfortable with those six standing as my favorites. In the time since December 11, however, I've read another book that I would add to the list: Andrea Turpin's A New Moral Vision: Gender, Religion, and the Changing Purposes of American Higher Education, 1837-1917 (Cornell University Press). Perhaps I'm a bit biased -- Turpin is one of my professors at Baylor, and she will be serving on my dissertation committee -- but I think that the book deserves to get a good bit of scholarly buzz among historians in 2017 (it always takes academics a year or two to get caught up on new books, so maybe 2018 is the year of the buzz).

This list still holds up. Margo Price's album Midwest Farmer's Daughter is the only addition I would make.

Along with recapping music and book consumption, for the past couple years I've taken some time to summarize my writing output at the end of each year. Here's the list of my written work in 2016. I expect/hope that 2017 will have far fewer entries, but a far more important one: a completed (or nearly completed) dissertation.


“The Homer of Middle-Western America: Walt Mason's Syndicated Midwestern Poetry.” Chapter to be included in The Midwestern Moment: The Ascendance of Midwestern Regionalism, 1880-1940, edited by Jon Lauck (Hastings College Press, forthcoming 2017).


“Big-League Basketball Comes to Omaha: A History of the Omahawks.” Nebraska History 97.8 (Winter 2016): 185-198.

“Commercializing the Sacred Office: Sexual Revolution and the Scandal of the Modern Marrying Parson, 1895-1930.” The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (forthcoming, late 2017/early 2018).

“A City on a Hill: Mobilizing Evangelical Protestant Men for Moral Reform under the Des Moines Plan, 1907-1916.” The Annals of Iowa (forthcoming, late 2017/early 2018).

One other article is still out for review. Hopefully I will hear back soon.


For Journals

Heath W. Carter, Union Made: Working People and the Rise of Social Christianity in Chicago (Oxford University Press). Reviewed for Books &Culture (July/August 2016).

David N. Wetzel, Vanishing Messiah: The Life and Resurrections of Francis Schlatter for Nebraska History (University of Iowa Press). Reviewed for Nebraska History 97.8 (Winter 2016): 218-219.

Willa Cather with an introduction from Susan Schiller, Alexander’s Bridge (Hastings College Press). Reviewed for Middle West Review (forthcoming, 2017).

Brent M.S. Campney, This Is Not Dixie: Racist Violence in Kansas, 1861-1927 (University of Illinois Press). Reviewed for Great Plains Quarterly (forthcoming, 2017)

Christopher D. Cantwell, Heath W. Carter, and Janine Giordano Drake, eds., The Pew and the Picket Line: Christianity and the American Working Class for Annals of Iowa (University of Illinois Press). Reviewed for The Annals of Iowa (forthcoming, 2017).

For Online Blogs/Publications

Dale E. Soden, Outsiders in a Promised Land: Religious Activists in Pacific Northwest History (University of Washington Press). 

David Mislin, Saving Faith: Making Religious Pluralism an American Value at the Dawn of the Secular Age (Cornell University Press).

Bob Gaines, Christy Mathewson, The Christian Gentleman: How One Man’s Faith and Fastball Forever Changed Baseball (Rowman & Littlefield).

Dolph Grundman, Dolph Schayes and the Rise of Professional Basketball (Syracuse University Press).

Duncan Hamilton, For the Glory: Eric Liddell's Journey from Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr (Penguin Press).


“Whose Social Gospel? Contested Social Christianities in the Midwest.” Presented at the annual winter meeting of the American Society of Church History. Atlanta, Georgia. January 2016.

"The Possibilities, Perils, and Perimeters of Online Academic Communities: One Graduate Student's Perspective." Presented at Crossroads: The Future of Graduate History Education. Madison, New Jersey. March 2016.

Roundtable on Ed Blum’s Reforging the White Republic. Presented at the Conference on Faith and History’s biennial meeting. Virginia Beach, Virginia. October 2016.

“Women and the Early Development of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 1954-1976.” Presented at the Conference on Faith and History’s biennial meeting. Virginia Beach, Virginia. October 2016.