Assistant Director of American Culture Studies
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Noah Cohan’s research is oriented to the intersection of American fan cultures, sports, and narratives, particularly as they pertain to race and gender. In his book, We Average Unbeautiful Watchers: Fan Narratives and the Reading of American Sports (2019), he analyzes the ways in which fans engage (or fail to engage) inequities of race and gender as they leverage their narratives of spectatorship to articulate their identities. In his most recent article project, “Flint’s Toxic Narratives: Tales of Uplift and Athletes Who Resist Them,” Cohan examines the Flint water crisis via the off-the-field charitable efforts of (mostly-black) athletes in Flint and the pre-formed narratives in which they are figured by the (mostly-white) media. His current research interests include racial disparities and inequities in collegiate “amateur” athletics, contemporary black athlete activism and fan responses to it, and the broader ramifications of American football’s culture of violence and dehumanization via the lens of the football helmet.