Dr. Brian M. IngrassiaDr. Brian Ingrassia


E-mail: brian.ingrassia@mtsu.edu
Phone: (615) 494-7759
Office Location and Mailing Address: Peck Hall, Room 281
MTSU Box 23
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

FIELDS: Gilded Age & Progressive Era, Sport, Transatlantic Cultural & Intellectual, Science & Medicine, Gender, Urban, History of Education

BIOGRAPHY: My research focuses on the relationship between culture and society, especially the role of popular culture and spectacle in nineteenth- and twentieth-century social reform movements. My first book, The Rise of Gridiron University: Higher Education's Uneasy Alliance with Big-Time Football (Kansas, 2012), shows how university intellectuals and administrators at the turn of the last century embraced big-time intercollegiate athletics as a way to bridge the gap between academics and the public—yet in reforming college sports they actually just solidified the permanent place of popular culture on university campuses. In my current research I am exploring early-1900s automotive sports in relation to changes in urban space and the "good roads" movement of the Progressive Era and interwar years. I also serve as the series editor for the Sport and Popular Culture Series at the University of Tennessee Press.


  • History 2010, Survey United States History I
  • History 2020, Survey United States History II
  • History 2020H, Survey of United States History II HONORS


Ingrassia, Brian M. The Rise of Gridiron University: Higher Education's Uneasy Alliance with Big-Time Football. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2012.

Ingrassia, Brian M. "'From the New World to the Old, and Back Again': Whig University Leaders and Trans-Atlantic Nationalism in the Era of 1848," Journal of the Early Republic 32:4 (Winter 2012): 667-692

Ingrassia, Brian M. "Public Influence inside the College Walls: Progressive Era Universities, Social Scientists, and Intercollegiate Football Reform," The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 10:1 (Jan. 2011): 59-88


"Outstanding Academic Title," Choice Magazine, 2012 (for Rise of Gridiron University).

William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer, Clinton School of Public Service, University of Arkansas, 2012

Nominee, Fishel-Calhoun Prize for best article in U.S. History, 1865-1917 (for "Public Influence inside the College Walls"), 2012

Mark C. Stevens Research Fellowship, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, 2005


Book project on early automotive sports in relation to urban space, spectatorship, the body, and the "good roads" movement of America's early-1900s Progressive Era.


Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.A.,    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.A.,    Eureka College

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