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Meet Dustin Abnet

Mixing Technology and Culture

Sept. 11, 2014

Pop culture is a main interest of Dustin Abnet's, both on and off the campus. This semester, besides teaching about this subject, the new assistant professor of American studies is also offering a course about spectator sports in American culture, delving into the meaning of organized sports in our society, the study of sports rituals and heroes, and the cultural significance of both amateur and professional sports.

For the most part, he says, he concentrates on technology and culture. Abnet is currently working on a book project on the history of robots and robotics in the U.S., dating as far back as the 18th century. "But I trained as a labor historian, so I write a lot about work and leisure," he adds.

Abnet, who hails from the Midwest — "Indiana, for the most part," he says — earned his bachelor's degree in history, diplomacy and foreign affairs and M.A. in history from Miami University in Ohio, then a doctorate in history at Indiana University, Bloomington. It was during his time at Miami University that he discovered that he enjoyed leading discussions and giving lectures.

"I loved doing historical research and in my master's program, I loved being in front of the classroom," he explains.

Abnet saw in Cal State Fullerton the type of students he wanted to work with and an American Studies Department that he wished to join. He previously taught at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.

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