Eric Steagall

Ph.D. Student

Member Of:
  • School of History and Sociology
Office Location: Old Civil Engineering Building, G42
Office Hours: Available by appointment
Email Address:


Eric is a Ph.D. candidate who focuses on modern U.S. history, particularly the American South, sports and popular culture, and mass media.  Eric developed these interests during his time as an undergraduate and a graduate student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.  His master’s thesis at Mizzou, which he completed in December 2016, examined how the Birmingham News covered the all-white Alabama Crimson Tide football program amidst the core years of the African American civil rights movement.  After a short stint in the marketing and advertising industries, Eric left his hometown of Chicago midway through 2019 for Atlanta to enroll at Georgia Tech.  He is now in his fourth year in the History and Sociology of Technology and Science doctoral degree program.


Since the fall of 2019, Eric has served as a teaching assistant for courses such as the U.S. History survey (post-Reconstruction), Social Movements, History of Sports in America, and History of Medicine, among others.  He has written about scientific racism in American sports, the persistence of the Lost Cause mythology in southern institutions, racial desegregation in college football, and golf in Georgia.  Eric is currently working on his dissertation which explores the life and times of Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones, a former Atlantan and one of the most celebrated figures in golf history.  This biographical project sheds new light on the making and meaning of Jones, both as a southern golfer as well as an American hero, during the first three decades of the twentieth century.


Eric enjoys playing golf and men’s softball, being around friends and family (preferably outside), reading, and watching sports in his spare time.

Faculty Advisor:
Johnny Smith
  • Master of Science, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Master of Arts, University of Missouri
  • Bachelor of Journalism (cum laude), University of Missouri
Awards and
  • 2023 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), History and Sociology
Areas of
  • Modern U.S. History
  • Southern History
  • Sport History


Research Fields:
  • Communication
  • History of Technology/Engineering and Society
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • U.S. Society and Politics/Policy Perspectives
  • United States
  • United States - Georgia
  • United States - Southeast
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Historiography
  • History and Memory
  • Journalism
  • Media
  • Sports