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Professor Knoblauch was born in Ashland, WI. He attended Northland College, graduating magna cum laude with a double major in Business & Economics and History. He began his graduate studies at the University of Hawai'i but transferred to Northern Arizona University to earn (with distinction) an M.A. in the History of the American West. In 2006 he began Ph.D. coursework at Ohio University, and became a fellow of the Contemporary History Institute, completing his dissertation in 2012. At Finlandia, Professor Knoblauch teaches World and American History courses as well as more specific courses including: America and the World, Energy and World Power, The Atomic Age, 1980s America through Film, and Cold War America. Outside the classroom, he works on Finlandia's Sustainability Committee and the Instructional Resource Committee, contributes to the Sustainable Keweenaw Resource Center (SKRC), and is a steward of the Little Free Library project for Hancock. His research focuses on the interplay between pop culture, politics, and foreign policy during the Cold War. Recent publications include:
Selling the Second Cold War: Antinuclear Cultural Activism in the Reagan Era, forthcoming 2016 (contracted through University of Massachusetts Press).
“Selling the Strategic Defense Initiative: Non-Government Organizations and the Media Battle over SDI,” in Bastiansen, Henrik G., Martin Klimke, and Rolf Werenskjold (eds.), Media and the Cold War, 1975-1990. (Forthcoming, 2016).
"'I'm Free': The Who on the Self and Society," with Casey Rentmeester, in Harison, Casey and Rocco Genaro (eds.), The Who and Philosophy. Washington D.C.: Lexington Books / Rowman & Littlefield (forthcoming 2016).
"Will You Sing About the Missiles?: British Antinuclear Protest Music of the 1980s" in Klimke, Martin A., Eckart Conze & Jeremy Varon (eds.) Nuclear Threats, Nuclear Fear, and the Cold War of the 1980s. New York: Cambridge University Press, August 2016.
"SIMON: The Prelude to Modern Music Video Games" in Austin, Michael L. (ed.) Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play. New York: Bloomsbury Academic Press, June 2016.
"Game Over? A Cold War Kid Reflects on Apocalyptic Video Games," in Goldberg, Daniel and Linus Larsson (eds.) The State of Play: Sixteen Voices on Video Games. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2015.
H-Diplo Review of Paul Rubinson, "The Global Effects of Nuclear Winter: Science and Antinuclear Protest in the United States and the Soviet Union during the 1980s." Cold War History 14:1 (February 2014): 47-69.
“From Camelot to Watergate: Shifting Boomer Politics, 1963-1973” in Cogan, Brian A. and Thom Gencarelli (eds.), Baby Boomers and Popular Culture: An Inquiry into America’s Most Powerful Generation. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2014.
“The Pixilated Apocalypse: Video Games and Nuclear Fears, 1980-2012” in Blouin, Michael, Morgan Shipley, and Jack Taylor (eds.), The Silence of Fallout: Nuclear Criticism in a Post-Cold War World. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.
Strategic Digital Defense: Video Games and Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ Program, 1980-1987” in Kapell, Matthew Wilhelm and Andrew B.R. Elliot (eds.), Playing with the Past: Digital Games and the Simulation of History. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.
“MTV and Transatlantic Cold War Music Videos” in TEMP: Tidsskrift for Historie (A Danish Journal of History), nr. 06 – 2013.
“Publishing for Peace: Literary Dissent and the Reagan Administration’s ‘Peaceful Offensive’ 1982-1984,” a paper presented as part of The Other Side of the Cold War: Human Rights, Peace, and Antinuclear Activism during the 1980s Panel at the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) Conference, UC-San Diego, June 24, 2016.
“SIMON: Lessons from the Definitive Music Memory Game,” Film & History Conference, University of Wisconsin-Madison, November 4-8, 2015.
"Constitution Day," a public presentation by Copper Country's League of Women Voters acting President Mary Jane Hatton and Finlandia's Assistant Professor of History William M. Knoblauch, September 17th, 2015.
"'We Won't Get Fooled Again': The Who and Philosophy," with Dr. Casey Rentmeester, The Heart of Arts & Sciences Colloquium Series, Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, MI, April 9, 2015.
"Containing The Day After: The Co-Option of an Antinuclear Media Event," invited presenter and panel chair at the 10th Annual History Graduate Student Association Conference of Ohio University, Athens, OH, February 6-7, 2015.
"Selling 'Star Wars' in American Mass Media." Media and the Cold War, 1975-1991, International Conference in Volda, Norway, November 20-22, 2014.
"Selfie Culture: Four Perspectives from the Liberal Arts," Public Presentation at the Finnish American Heritage Center of Finlandia University, October 22, 2014.
"The Pixilated Apocalypse: Video Games and Nuclear Fears." The Heart of Arts and Sciences Colloquium series, Finlandia University, Hancock, MI, March 13, 2014.
“Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going?” Civil Rights panel discussion at Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, January 21, 2014.
“Messages of Islam: Manichean Media Representations in the Post-Cold War World.” Presented at Genocide and Globalization. Finlandia University, Hancock, MI, March 13, 2013.
“Selling the Second Cold War: British Anti-Nuclear Pop, 1980-1987.” Presented at Accidental Armageddons: The Nuclear Crisis and the Culture of the Second Cold War, 1975-1989. German Historical Institute. Washington D.C., November 4-6, 2010.
“The Science of Salvation: Carl Sagan and Paul Ehrlich Confront U.S. Foreign Policy.” The Ohio University History Graduate Student Association Conference. Athens, OH, May 2010.
“New Media, Popular Culture, and the History Classroom.” The Ohio Historical Society Roundtable Discussion on Teaching. Capital University, Columbus, OH, March 2010.