Diane Roberts

Johanna Lawshea

Diane Roberts is Professor of English at Florida State University in Tallahassee. She is the author of Dream State: Eight Generations of Swamp Lawyers, Conquistadors, Confederate Daughters, Banana Republicans, and other Florida Wildlife; Faulkner and Southern Womanhood; and The Myth of Aunt Jemima. She is also a journalist, writing op-ed pieces for the New York Times, the New Republic, and the Times of London. She is a political columnist for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida and makes documentaries for BBC Radio in London. She has been a commentator for NPR since 1993 and she writes for the Washington Post. Her newest book, Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America (Harper), tackles the controversies plaguing college athletics, tracing the dubious historical underpinnings of Americans’ most popular sport. Florida State’s football team is always in the headlines, producing Heisman Trophy candidates, winning championships, and, at the same time, dealing with federal investigations into corruption and rape. Writer, professor and conflicted Seminole,  Roberts looks at the problems plaguing her campus in Tallahassee, examining them within the context of college football itself and its significance in American life, and explores how the game shapes our culture.