John Harney is an Assistant Professor of History at Centre College, a small and selective liberal arts college in the Bluegrass region of central Kentucky. His research focuses on the history of East Asia in the twentieth century, particularly in the evolution of cultural communities in colonial, post-colonial and post-imperial societies in China and Taiwan in the interwar period. He has written peer-reviewed articles on youth baseball in colonial Taiwan and American Catholic missionaries living in rural China during the Republican period (1911-1949), and is currently completing his first book, tentatively titled Baseball on the Edge of Empire: A Sporting Community Across the East China Sea, 1895-1968.
Harney’s interest in cultural history also extends to video games, particularly in the rise of “esports” and the influence of historical events and dynamics on the storytelling, settings and themes of popular video games. He is associate editor of History Respawned, a video series created by Dr. Robert Whitaker that invites historians to discuss video games in historical context and as texts in their own right.
He also writes about video games now and again. This website contains a lot of informal writing, operating as a personal blog and as a hosting space for two podcasts: The Cultural Apocalypse Podcast, which ran for fifty episodes from 2013-2014, and Wagon Train to the Stars, a podcast that discusses Star Trek on television.
Harney received his BA in History and English from University College Cork, an MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Sheffield and a PhD in History from the University of Texas at Austin.
You can find more information about Harney’s work, including his CV, here. If you’d like to get in touch, contact information is below.
Centre College, History Program
600 West Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422