Eric Steagall

Ph.D. Student

Member Of:
  • School of History and Sociology
Email Address:
Office Location:
Old Civil Engineering Building, 221 Bobby Dodd Way
Office Hours:
Available by appointment


Eric is a third-year Ph.D. student who focuses on modern U.S. history, particularly the New 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 Alabama Crimson Tide football program during the core of the Civil Rights movement.  After a short stint in the marketing and advertising industry, Eric left his hometown of Chicago midway through 2019 to enroll at Georgia Tech.


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 recently finished his second master’s paper, this time on golfer and Atlanta native Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones, Jr.  The project explored how white Atlantans appropriated Bobby Jones during the 1920s to foster an improved national image of both the Gate City and the rest of the New South.


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
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