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2006 Speaker - Dr. Donald G. Kyle

Professor of History and Classical Studies, University of Texas at Arlington

Dr. Donald G. Kyle received his B.A. with honors in History and Humanities from York University in 1973. The next year, he received his M.A. in History from McMaster University, followed by a B.Ed. in History and Physical Education from the University of Toronto in 1977. He returned to McMaster to pursue his Ph.D. in History, which he received in 1981, with a dissertation entitled, “A Historical Study of Athletics in Ancient Athens to 322 B.C.”

Dr. Kyle began his career in academia as a lecturer in the Classics department at the University of Winnipeg (1980-1981). He then served as a visiting assistant professor in the department of History at the University of Saskatchewan (1981-1984) before moving to the History department of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he has taught from 1984 to the present day. A department fixture, Dr. Kyle has served as:

  • assistant professor (1984-89),
  • assistant chair (1987- 94),
  • associate professor (1989-98),
  • professor (1998-present), and
  • department chair (1999-2006).

For his abilities in the classroom, he has received sundry awards and recognitions, including:

  • the Chancellor's Council Award for Excellence in Teaching at UTA (1990),
  • Distinguished Teaching Professor,
  • Academy of Distinguished Teachers, UTA (1999), and
  • the Golladay Award for Teaching in Liberal Arts, UTA (2000).

Dr. Kyle is a member of the Association of Ancient Historians, the Archaeological Institute of America, the Classical Association of the Mid-West and South, the Classical Association of Canada, Phi Alpha Theta, and the North American Society for Sport History, to whom he was invited to give the Maxwell C. Howell Honorary Address in 1992 and where he held many offices from 1984 to 2007.

As a researcher, Dr. Kyle is particularly interested in Greek and Roman history and civilization, ancient sport and recreation, Greek and Roman historians, and the history of civilization. He has authored three books—Athletics in Ancient Athens, Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome, and Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World —as well as several articles and has published a substantial number of reviews and review essays. He also co-edited Essays on Sport History and Sport Mythology with G. Stark, and Baseball in America and America in Baseball with R. Fairbanks.

Dr. Kyle is respected as an expert in his field, having assisted the History Channel and PBS as a consultant and interview subject for programs such as:

  • “The Real Olympics” (2004),
  • “Let the Games Begin: The Ancient Olympics” (2004), and
  • “Roman Gladiators” (2001).

He has also sat on several advisory boards, including those for:

  • the Journal of Sport History (1986-1995, 2001-2007),
  • the Encyclopedia of World Sport (1994-1996), and
  • Stadion (1987-present).

In 2006, Dr. Kyle presented the Greene Settle Annual Lecture on “Ancient Olympic Ideals and History” to the Hellenic Ideals Program of the Bluegrass.

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