Skip to Main Content
Sign In
Visit Apply Give
Toggle Navigation

Open the Navigation Management window, which can be used to view the full current branch of the menu tree, and edit it.

CONNECT
  • Department of History Facebook
  • Department of History Twitter

Personnel Faculty

Image Picker for Section 0

 For Google

  • Kenneth Cohen, Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of Delaware

    Associate Professor
    Director of Museum Studies
    University of Delaware
    210 John Munroe Hall
    Newark, DE 19716
    (302) 831-1251
    M 3pm - 5pm; W 10:30am - 12:30pm; Zoom

    Biography

    I am a public historian and scholar whose work ranges from books and articles about the intersection of popular and political culture to museum exhibitions and programs about oystering, the ivory trade, and the legacies of the Mayflower landing. The theme that ties it all together is an emphasis on how the past shapes the present. As Director of Museum Studies and Public History, I help students learn the professional skills required to apply their growing expertise to non-scholarly audiences, for whom a personal or contemporary connection often heightens understanding and impact. I come to this position after having spent more than twenty years working for institutions big and small, from the Smithsonian and the National Park Service to historic houses and local museums. I also graduated from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture and completed my dissertation at UD in 2008.

    My work has been funded by numerous grants from archives and universities around the country, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright program, and the Getty Leadership Institute for museum professionals. In addition to articles in scholarly journals and popular media, my first book, They Will Have Their Game: Sporting Culture and the Making of the Early American Republic, won the James Broussard Prize for best first book from the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic. Current projects include articles on museum objects made by prison labor and the history of entertainment memorabilia collecting, the catalog for a major Smithsonian exhibit on the history of commercial entertainment in the U.S., and a book exploring the evolution of Halls of Fame from institutions enshrining politicians, inventors, and soldiers to institutions that primarily enshrine entertainers.

    Publications

    ​Book: 

    They Will Have Their Game: Sporting Culture and the Making of the Early American Republic. Cornell Univeristy Press, 2017.


 

 

210 John Munroe HallNewark, DE 19716<div class="ExternalClass76D2F6E95F7E4D4C997E06237BCAE6FD"><p>I am a public historian and scholar whose work ranges from books and articles about the intersection of popular and political culture to museum exhibitions and programs about oystering, the ivory trade, and the legacies of the Mayflower landing. The theme that ties it all together is an emphasis on how the past shapes the present. As Director of Museum Studies and Public History, I help students learn the professional skills required to apply their growing expertise to non-scholarly audiences, for whom a personal or contemporary connection often heightens understanding and impact. I come to this position after having spent more than twenty years working for institutions big and small, from the Smithsonian and the National Park Service to historic houses and local museums. I also graduated from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture and completed my dissertation at UD in 2008.</p><p>My work has been funded by numerous grants from archives and universities around the country, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright program, and the Getty Leadership Institute for museum professionals. In addition to articles in scholarly journals and popular media, my first book, <em>They Will Have Their Game: Sporting Culture and the Making of the Early American Republic</em>, won the James Broussard Prize for best first book from the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic. Current projects include articles on museum objects made by prison labor and the history of entertainment memorabilia collecting, the catalog for a major Smithsonian exhibit on the history of commercial entertainment in the U.S., and a book exploring the evolution of Halls of Fame from institutions enshrining politicians, inventors, and soldiers to institutions that primarily enshrine entertainers.</p></div><div class="ExternalClass7429395C098C45D3B3574DFF2E76C9AA"><p>​Book: <em><br></em></p><p><em>They Will Have Their Game: Sporting Culture and the Making of the Early American Republic.</em> Cornell Univeristy Press, 2017.<br></p></div><div class="ExternalClass7429395C098C45D3B3574DFF2E76C9AA"><br></div>Publicationscohenk@udel.edu/Documents%20Bios%20CVs/faculty/cohen-kenneth-cv.pdfCohen, Kenneth(302) 831-1251<img alt="Professor Kenneth Cohen" src="/Images%20Bios/faculty/Cohen_Kenneth.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Associate ProfessorDirector of Museum StudiesM 3pm - 5pm; W 10:30am - 12:30pm; Zoomhttps://primus.nss.udel.edu/CoursesSearch/search-results?first_instr_name=Cohen,Kenneth

 

 

They Will Have Their Game Sporting Culture and the Making of the Early American RepublicCohen, KennethCornell University Press2017https://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/9781501752001/they-will-have-their-game/<p>In <em>They Will Have Their Game</em>, Kenneth Cohen explores how sports, drinking, gambling, and theater produced a sense of democracy while also reinforcing racial, gender, and class divisions in early America. Pairing previously unexplored financial records with a wide range of published reports, unpublished correspondence, and material and visual evidence, Cohen demonstrates how investors, participants, and professional managers and performers from all sorts of backgrounds saw these "sporting" activities as stages for securing economic and political advantage over others.</p><p><em>They Will Have Their Game</em> tracks the evolution of this fight for power from 1760 to 1860, showing how its roots in masculine competition and risk-taking gradually developed gendered and racial limits and then spread from leisure activities to the consideration of elections as "races" and business as a "game." The result reorients the standard narrative about the rise of commercial popular culture to question the influence of ideas such as "gentility" and "respectability," and to put men like P. T. Barnum at the end instead of the beginning of the process, unveiling a new take on the creation of the white male republic of the early nineteenth century in which sporting activities lie at the center and not the margins of economic and political history.</p>

Page Settings and MetaData:
(Not Shown on the Page)
Page Settings
Personnel
No
MetaData for Search Engine Optimization
University of Delaware
<a target="_blank" href="/Lists/Bios/AllItems.aspx" class="ms-promotedActionButton"> <span style="font-size:16px;margin-right:5px;position:relative;top:2px;" class="fa fa-pencil-square-o"></span><span class="ms-promotedActionButton-text">EDIT LIST</span> </a> <a target="_blank" href="/cas-it/utility/ir-bio" class="ms-promotedActionButton"> <span style="font-size:16px;margin-right:5px;position:relative;top:2px;" class="fa fa-crop"></span><span class="ms-promotedActionButton-text">CROP IMAGES</span> </a> <a target="_blank" href="/Images%20Bios/Forms/Thumbnails.aspx" class="ms-promotedActionButton"> <span style="font-size:16px;margin-right:5px;position:relative;top:2px;" class="fa fa-camera"></span><span class="ms-promotedActionButton-text">UPLOAD IMAGES</span> </a> <a target="_blank" href="/Documents Bios CVs/Forms/AllItems.aspx" class="ms-promotedActionButton"> <span style="font-size:16px;margin-right:5px;position:relative;top:2px;" class="fa fa-file-text"></span><span class="ms-promotedActionButton-text">UPLOAD CV'S</span> </a> WebPartEditorsOnly hideHeader CSWPGoogleFix
  • Department of History
  • 46 W. Delaware Avenue
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2371
  • history@udel.edu