Saturday, May 23, 2009

Keele Diary #17

I am plowing away at the office on a Saturday afternoon. It is quiet here in the Chancellor's Building, and while it took me a couple of hours to hit my stride, I have gotten solid work done this afternoon.

I have a little extra jump in my step because in addition to working on my book on bus boycotts in the United States and South Africa in the 1940s and 1950s, I have also been working on a project on Massive Resistance to the Integration of Ole Miss that I have dabbled with off and on for several years. Indeed, it has its roots in my MA thesis at UNC-Charlotte, and even before that the idea took form as a seminar paper at Williams. In recent years I had envisioned the project as a series of journal articles, and indeed one of these, an article on the role of football in the Ole Miss crisis, came out last week in the latest Sport History Review. But all along I thought the project might make for a short book. As I have been working on the project these last few weeks, the disparate sections started to congeal, and increasingly I felt that indeed a book was waiting to peek out of this larger project.

Well, yesterday I contacted a publisher, and it looks like we are going to see if this is a workable project. I am a little nervous because a respected senior historian has been working on what is supposed to be the defining book on Ole Miss and race for going on two decades. And after competing with really big-name authors with both Bleeding Red and Freedom's Main Line (SHAMELESS!), one would think I would have learned my lesson. But for now I am moving forward. We'll send this one out and see what the press' internal reviewers think.

It's another crisp day at Keele, though I have to admit we've seen relatively little rain. I actually even have been able to wear my strappy sandals today, though admittedly that is as much about wishful thinking as about the facts on the ground. Tomorrow will be another quiet one, though in the afternoon I will be going to explore some of the local area's points of pride. In the meantime, it's time for dinner. My recognition of the lack of rain usually results in a downpour, so i think it might be best for me to scamper out of here while the sun is still shining. I think a pub dinner is calling my name.


Ken said...

Thanks for the link to the article - really enjoyed it and now have a lot more reading to chase up from the footnotes!

Anonymous said...

did you notice that an Eph took a national championship in track? Lauren Philbrook '09 lived out her top seed in the 10,000 meter.
Good luck with the book project.

dcat said...

Anon -
I have indeed been following the track exploits. I'm always pleased to see them do well. As a former captain I still have a very proprietary claim on the team! Looks like Fletcher Brooks has had a good inaugural year.


dcat said...

Ken --
Thanks so much. Always happy to make work!


Jeremy said...

I really need to get my hands on your books. I am not sure about the one on the Red Sox (though I am sure it is magnificent) but definitely the other. And this one you are working on sounds very interesting also.

dcat said...

Jeremy --
Please do!
They are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or at least by order, I am sure, at a bookstore near you.