Seth Tannenbaum, Ph.D.
Visiting Assist Professor
Seth S. Tannenbaum is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at the University of Central Oklahoma. He earned a PhD in American History at Temple University in 2019. His manuscript in progress, Ballparks as America: The Fan Experience at Major League Baseball Parks in the Twentieth Century, examines Americans’ changing understandings of urban areas, inclusion, and the body politic. It analyzes how team owners used ballparks’ designs, locations, and amenities to keep fans coming back to the park amidst significant changes in cities and in leisure consumption patterns. By and large, ballparks went from small and urban in the beginning of the century, to giant and suburban in mid-century, to an amalgamation of the two by the end of the century. These changes mirrored how middle- and upper-class white Americans—the majority of fans in the park—felt about urban spaces. To them, cities went from places to live, to places to avoid in favor of suburbia, to highly controlled entertainment spaces.
Although ballparks have never been exclusively populated by middle-class white men, most fans were part of that group and team owners focused the experience on them. Thanks to baseball’s close association with ideas about America and because the ballpark was not an accurate representation of the body politic along class, race, or gender lines, white male fans could conceive of the nation as comprised mainly of people like them. This incomplete understanding of the country was powerful as it reinforced other aspects of American culture that also revolved around these men.
Education and Certifications
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Doctor of Philosophy in History (2019)
Teaching in Higher Education Certification (2014)
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York
Bachelor of Arts in History (2008)
Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities
- “A Ballpark United by Food: Hot Dogs and Bridging the Gap Between the Skyboxes and the Cheap Seats at the Houston Astrodome,” in Conversations with Food, eds. Dorothy Chansky and Sarah W. Tracy (Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press, 2020), forthcoming.
- “‘The Ever Watchful Eye of the Magnate’: Policing and Ballpark Gambling in the Twentieth Century,” in All In: The Spread of Gambling in Twentieth-Century United States, eds. Jonathan D. Cohen and David. G. Schwartz (Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 2018), 44-69.
- “Activism without ‘Radicalism’: American Activism on Behalf of Conscientious Objectors During World War I,” Peace & Change 42, no. 1 (January 2017): 32-63.
- “Food Concessions and the Middle Class at Baseball Games, 1900-1950,” in The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2013-2014, ed. William M. Simons (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015), 77-92.
- History of the U.S. Since 1877
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