Brian Campbell

 Brian Campbell

Contact Information

History, 309 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright Street
M/C 466
Urbana, IL 61801

Research Interests

  • African American/Diaspora
  • Comparative Sport and Race
  • United States in the World
  • Latin America

Research Description

My dissertation, "Beyond the Boundaries: Race, Sport, and Citizenship Abroad in the Black Press, 1920-1950," shows how African American sportswriters and journalists documented the migration of African American baseball players to Latin America in the first half of the twentieth-century. Between 1920 and 1950, hundreds of African American ballplayers traveled to nations like Cuba and Mexico in search of better pay and improved working conditions. Meanwhile, sportswriters and editors ascribed meaning to the athletes’ movement in newspapers and magazines. Through columns, op-eds, photographs, and box scores, the black press transformed the sports pages into a dynamic site of citizenship politics and more importantly, as a forum to discuss race in an international context. Journalists noted greater access to accommodations, highlighted celebrity status, and lauded athletic achievement abroad to show how African American sportsmen could thrive in societies absent of Jim Crow’s color line. 


  • BA, The Ohio State University at Lima, 2011
  • MA, The University at Buffalo, SUNY, 2013

Distinctions / Awards

  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017


  • Career Diversity Fellow, The American Historical Association, 2018-2019
  • CLACS Graduate Student Professional Development Fellowship, 2017
  • Dissertation Research Fellowship, Department of History - UIUC, 2017
  • Summer Pre-Dissertation Research Grant, Department of History - UIUC, 2016
  • Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, 2014


  • HIST 100 - Global History: Making of the Modern World, 1500-2000, Summer 2018