Brent J Steele

9 04 2023

After months, and perhaps years, of cajoling and haranguing the Hayseed Scholar, friend of the pod (episode14) Matt McDonald finally convinced Brent to turn the tables and become a guest on the  podcast.

Matt interviewed Brent at the end of the International Studies Association conference in Montreal, in Matt’s hotel room.

Over a few beers and with much good cheer, they chat about Brent’s growing up in Iowa, attending Chicago Bears games as a kid, having two teachers as parents, and how golf shaped his college decision-making. They discuss Brent’s journey through graduate school, the PhD, and his positions at the University of Kansas and now the University of Utah.

Often pounding the table like some 1930s-era dictator, Brent talks about what the tenure process was like for him at KU, the difficult (but also life-changing) move to Utah, walking with Chase pups for all kinds of reasons, how he approaches writing, and how he unwinds and recharges by going back to Iowa and seeing his family.

Matt and Brent first connected in 2010 when Brent reached out to Matt about his IPS article. That leads to a discussion about how and why Brent sent those complimentary emails to scholars. 

A number of F-bombs were dropped. Razzing of Jelena Subotic, Tony Lang, and Chris Agius ensued. Friend of the pod and special guest Cian O’Driscoll made an appearance towards the end of the conversation.  It’s a whirlwind discussion, and one Brent remains self-conscious about. But it was also a rewarding experience.