In a recent Slate article, Assistant Director of AMCS Noah Cohan recounts the origins and evolution of football helmets as branding first, and safety second. He explains why, despite the myriad of scientific evidence supporting the development of a safer helmet, the cultural significance of the plastic football helmet makes its displacement unlikely. Check out "Why a Hot Idea for Making Football Safer Is Such a Hard Sell for the NFL" to read more on the history of the football helmet.
Noah Cohan's research and teaching are oriented to the intersection of American sports, fan cultures, power, and inequality, particularly with regard to race and gender.
Cohan’s recent course offerings include "Empire of Hoop: Basketball as American Culture" , and “The Racialized Sporting Landscape of St. Louis: Athletics Aesthetics, Bias, and Opportunity". Cohan’s book, We Average Unbeautiful Watchers: Fan Narratives and the Reading of American Sports, was published in July 2019 by the University of Nebraska Press. He is the co-editor of Sport in the University, a special issue of the journal American Studies (Fall 2016), founding coordinator of the Sports Studies Caucus of the American Studies Association, co-convener of the AMCS program initiative in Sports and Society: Culture, Power, and Identity, and cocreator of Whereas Hoops, a multimedia work of scholarship and activism aimed at getting basketball hoops installed in St. Louis's Forest Park.