How were you first introduced to AJHA?
University of Georgia professor Janice Hume first introduced me to the American Journalism Historians Association and encouraged me to attend my first conference in Wichita, Kansas, in 2006. I vividly remember watching Hume, Mike Sweeney and company karaoke at this particular conference, and I knew that this might be the most entertaining group of historians that I had ever encountered. Nearly twenty years later, AJHA remains one of my favorite academic associations because of the warm and supportive people associated with it and the amazing memories I’ve made while attending conferences.
What’s your most memorable moment associated with AJHA?
Well, that’s a tough question. I have been honored a couple of times by AJHA, and while I am certainly grateful for those two awards (the rising scholar award and the national award for excellence in teaching), I would have to say that the memories that most stick out to me (aside of that first one I noted) is watching mentors and friends who have meant so much to me, personally—folks like Janice Hume, Earnest Perry, Mike Sweeney, Dianne Bragg, Kathy Roberts Forde, and so many others, be honored at this conference. I honestly am so grateful for this community and for the memories associated with AJHA. I’ve always said that AJHA is much more like academic family than any group I’ve ever known.
What’s the most important lesson that this academic community has taught you?
I’m not certain that I could narrow it to just one lesson, but I’ll try. I certainly think that this academic community taught me the value of supporting and collaborating with each other. I have had the chance to collaborate with many community members associated with this conference over the years—by sharing advice and encouragement, by offering feedback on individual and collaborative projects, by developing special panels and essays about the importance of integrating theory and women’s history into media history, on an edited volume about Ida B. Wells-Barnett, on a presidential podcast, and that only scratches the surface.
What hobbies do you have outside academia?
One of my favorite pastimes is hiking. Since arriving on Rocky Top back in 2010, I’ve hiked more than half the 900 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains, and despite suffering a broken ankle last summer, I still hope to hike the entire Appalachian Trail one day. Aside of that main hobby, I absolutely love cheering on and supporting my almost eight-year-old son Joseph and when I get the chance, watching movies, listening to live music and reading a good book.
Lori Amber Roessner, a professor in the University of Tennessee's School of Journalism & Electronic Media, teaches and studies media history and its relationship to cultural phenomena and practices, including the operation of politics, the negotiation of public images and collective memories, and the construction of race, gender, and class. Since 2014, she has published two books, including Inventing Baseball Heroes: Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, and the Sporting Press in America (LSU Press, 2014) and Jimmy Carter and the Birth of the Marathon Media Campaign (LSU Press, 2020), and co-edited Political Pioneer of the Press: Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Her Transnational Crusade for Social Justice (Lexington Books, 2018). Her earlier journal-length cultural histories appeared in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly and Journalism History, among others.