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Collegiate Symbols and Mascots of the American Landscape

Title: Collegiate Symbols and Mascots of the American Landscape: Identity, Iconography, and Marketing.
Name(s): DeSantis, Gary Gennar, author
Frank, Andrew, 1970-, professor directing dissertation
Crew, Robert E., university representative
Grant, Jonathan A., 1963-, committee member
Koslow, Jennifer Lisa, 1970-, committee member
Gray, Edward G., 1964-, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of History, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (221 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The rise of college symbols and mascots related to the American landscape directly correlates with the rapid changes stemming from industrialization and urbanization occurring in American culture between the late-nineteenth century and first decades of the twentieth century. The loss of national identity attributed to the closing of the western frontier had a devastating effect on young white males in particular. The ensuing cultural crisis brought about by the wanton extirpation of wildlife and destruction of the natural environment led directly to the preservationist movement of the turn-of-the century. In the face of unparalleled immigration, fitness and the back-to-nature movement were believed to be instrumental in helping white American men avoid committing "race suicide." Nurtured by the teachings and philosophies of conservationists and preservationists, young white college men formed the first football teams and adopted symbols of the American landscape as a means of team identity. Because iconography makes for a powerful tool of identity and solidarity, students and college officials were likewise intrigued. Eager to quell unruly student behavior, college administrators—who had a more than contentious relationship with the student body throughout the late-nineteenth century—gladly assented. The profits soon realized from college sports and the pageantry surrounding it proved irresistible to colleges across the land. Consequently, by the early decades of the late-nineteenth century, numerous American college athletic teams began using mascots related to the American landscape and school colors to foment group solidarity.
Identifier: 2018_Fall_DeSantis_fsu_0071E_14289 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester 2018.
Date of Defense: November 2, 2018.
Keywords: 20th century American history, education, iconography, sports
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Andrew Frank, Professor Directing Dissertation; Robert Crew, University Representative; Jonathan Grant, Committee Member; Jennifer Koslow, Committee Member; Edward Gray, Committee Member.
Subject(s): United States -- History
United States -- Study and teaching
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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DeSantis, G. G. (2018). Collegiate Symbols and Mascots of the American Landscape: Identity, Iconography, and Marketing. Retrieved from