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Alan Atchison


Dr. AtchisonOffice: TMH-107
Email: aa07@txstate.edu
Phone: 512.245.3294


Curriculum Vitae

My research, teaching, and assignments reflect my history.  In the 1960s, baseball still laid a legitimate claim as the "National Pastime" with boys mimicking Mantle's home run trot; basketball, well on the way to similar prominence, included stars such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; and the running boom was on the horizon, soon to be energized by Olympian Frank Shorter.  During high school, college, and early professional years, my life centered on sports as did the lives of many.  My research on baseball does not surprise those who know my past, nor does my past shock students who know me to interject sports analogies into my lectures.  My admiration of academics goes back as far as my passion for sports.  But while the origin of one is obvious and the roots of the other unclear, together they determined my initial career choice:  teaching and coaching.  Later, new career goals convinced me to concentrate on teaching.  Those years in public schools led me to seek a M.A. at Texas State, where my research in baseball combined two interests.  Upon graduation new opportunities allowed me to focus on all three areas:  history, sports, and education.  Whether teaching history or preparing teachers, I draw on these specialties.


Educational Background
B.A. - Austin College
M.A. - Austin College
M.A. - Texas State University

Resent Research Topics
Professional baseball in Austin, Texas
Professional baseball in Gainesville, Texas

Previous Publications
““When Every Town Big Enough to Have a Bank Also Had a Professional Baseball Team”: The Game Returns to Austin After World War II.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly CIII (October 1999): 190-212.

“A Good Baseball Team Makes a Better City.” In The Legend Begins Now:  Round Rock Express 2000 Souvenir Program, 120-24. Round Rock, Tx.:  Round Rock Express Baseball Club. 2000.


Courses Taught


HIST 1310: HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES TO 1877

This course will provide students with a general knowledge of the history of the United States from settlement through Reconstruction.  Major themes to be addressed include but are not limited to conflicts with Native Americans, colonization of North America, the American Revolution, the development of the Constitution of the United States, westward expansion, slavery, industrialization, sectionalism, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.  Students will develop and/or improve their reading and analytical skills by examining primary and secondary sources relating to policies, ideas and events during this period.  Emphasis will be on different social, ethnic, and political groups, broadening the students' understanding of how these factions produced conflicts and resolutions that defined the nation at the beginning of its modern era.  Examinations and outside assignments will increase their understanding and knowledge of the basic tenets of American society while honing their skills in intensive reading, expository writing, and logical and analytical thinking.  They will also have the opportunity to improve their electronic communication skills using the department's computer facilities.

HIST 1320: HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES FROM 1877-PRESENT

This course will provide students with a general knowledge of the history of the United States since the period of Reconstruction.  Major themes to be addressed include but are not limited to industrialization, imperialism, the Progressive Movement, World War I, the Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, postwar social reform movements, and Watergate.  Students will develop and/or improve their reading and analytical skills by examining primary and secondary sources relating to policies, ideas, and events during this period.  Emphasis will be on different social, ethnic, and political groups, broadening the students' understanding of how these factions produced conflicts and resolutions that defined the nation at the beginning of its modern era.  Examinations and outside assignments will increase their understanding and knowledge of the basic tenets of American society while honing their skills in intensive reading, expository writing, and logical and analytical thinking.  They will also have the opportunity to improve their electronic communication skills using the department's computer facilities.

HIST 3368Q: History of Professional Baseball, 1869-1994

This course will examine how the National Pastime, viewed as a game rather than a business by spectators and participants, not only reflected American culture but also represented the American Dream to both native born and immigrant. Major themes to be addressed include immigration, racism, westward migration, and owner/player/government relations.
Objectives:

  • Students will be able to discuss the effect of professional baseball being marketed as a game rather than an entertainment business.
  • Students will be able to trace the historic immigration and migration trends reflected by the professional game.
  • Students will be able to explain the importance of professional baseball as a reflection of a segregated society and as a catalyst to an integrated society.
  • Students will be able to discuss how the owner/player battles, i.e., salary disputes, the reserve clause, unions, free agency, etc., effect the image of the National Pastime.

HIST 4380: HISTORICAL RESOURCES PRACTICUM
This course will introduce the student who is seeking teacher certification to the manner in which historians collect, examine, and interpret information.  The student will be required to research several topics, collecting data in a variety of ways (i.e., library searches, internet searches, interviews, etc.).  Emphasis will be placed on the use of primary sources.  The student will present his or her findings to the class using different oral, written, and visual techniques.  As a result the student will become familiar with the way historians work, enhance his or her own understanding of the nature of history, and become familiar with various techniques of presenting historical information.  As such the course will help prospective teachers learn to think historically and provide them with practical ways in which to involve their own students in history.  Each student will be required to develop a unit plan and daily lesson plans as preparation for the transition from student to teacher  A class review of the TExES and a minimum two opportunities to practice taking the test will allow students the opportunity to qualify to take the State's Texas certification.