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News Release

June 25, 2024

Black presents paper at Baseball Hall of Fame symposium


Dr. Richard Black, a professor of English at Northwest Missouri State, recently joined academics and researchers from throughout the country and presented at the 35th Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

As one of 51 presentations, Black presented his paper, “‘St. Peter got your name in the book’: August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ and Turkin and Thompson’s ‘The Official Encyclopedia of Baseball’” during a session related to baseball poetry and literature. 

In his analysis of Wilson’s play and the baseball encyclopedia, Black noted Major League Baseball’s recent decision to include the statistics of Negro League players in its official records and argued, “The pairing of these texts — the play and the encyclopedia — informs the circumstances, context, and sources of the play’s composition and its relation to the analytics revolution, while also recovering and exposing the origins of the early, restrictive, and discriminatory narrative that is the official historical and statistical record.” 

Dr. Richard Black is pictured outside the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. (Submitted photo)

Dr. Richard Black is pictured outside the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. (Submitted photo)

The annual symposium, which took place May 29-31, serves as a platform to present and discuss a variety of topics concerning the game of baseball and how it relates to culture and society. Co-sponsored by the State University of New York College at Oneonta and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the symposium examines the impacts of baseball from inter- and multi-disciplinary perspectives.

Black joined the Northwest faculty in 2008 and teaches courses about American literature and culture. He earned his doctoral degree in English language and literature at the University of Tulsa; he has a master’s degree from Texas State University at San Marcos and a bachelor’s degree from St. Edward’s University.



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