Michael Oriard, class of ’70 and Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture (Emeritus) at Oregon State University, will give a public lecture on campus Friday, September 20 at 3:30pm in the Eck Center Auditorium entitled “Becoming the Fighting Irish: ND’s Place in Football History and American Culture.”
At Notre Dame Oriard walked on as a defensive end, earned a spot as starting center, and left with a graduate fellowship to study literature as well as a job with the Kansas City Chiefs. After four years in the NFL he earned his PhD from Stanford and joined the faculty at Oregon State University. Since then he has written four excellent cultural studies of football (Reading Football, 1993; King Football, 2001; Brand NFL, 2007; and Bowled Over, 2009) and a memoir (The End of Autumn, 1982, 2009), authored articles for publications ranging from sports history books to the New York Times and Slate.com, and worked with NFL Films, PBS, and ESPN. He brings a unique perspective to the study of football in American culture and is excited to return to campus next week for his talk and the MSU game.
Professor Oriard’s lecture is being sponsored by the Department of American Studies, where students examine the dynamic interplay of American culture, politics, and society. Co-sponsors include the Departments of History and English, the John W. Gallivan Program, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, and the College of Arts and Letters. The talk will be followed by an American Studies Alumni reception.