Prof. notes - William D. Bowman


Current project

I am working in the field of sports history on a project that brings my diverse interests together:  a study of the World Cup of soccer as world history.

I am using the World Cup as a vehicle for analyzing the relationship between sports and global trends, such as shifting political relationships, economic patterns, and race and gender in the modern world.

I like working in the place where these worlds—sports and global movements—come together.

On sabbatical

In addition to writing on the history of the World Cup, I continued my research on a Jewish sports organization, Hakoah, that thrived in the 1920s  and ’30s in Vienna, Austria. My jersey (pictured) is based on a model from the interwar period.

At the time, Vienna had strong anti-Semitic undercurrents. The club was founded as a way to give Viennese Jews an opportunity to participate in sports, assert their collective identity, and fight contemporary stereotypes and prejudices.

Teaching at a liberal arts college

I came to Gettysburg College from the University  of North Carolina at Charlotte, which is a big  state school. I remember immediately recognizing that in a liberal arts college I worked at least five  times harder than I had in Charlotte. But I enjoyed it a lot more.

I was lucky to be able to come here and work at an institution that values close contact  with students. It is always fascinating to watch students grow academically and to develop their own intellectual signatures.

Prof. William D. Bowman is the Johnson Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities. As a professor of history, for which he served the department as chair,  he received the award for Distinguished Teaching in 2018.