Franks, Joel Stephen


Franks, Joel Stephen

Date Updated



Interdisciplinary Social Science/ Humanities

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


SelectedWorks Profile Page

Educational Background

University of California, Irvine, Program in Comparative Culture, Ph.D. 1983

San Jose State University, History, MA 1972

San Jose State University, History, BA 1971

Dissertation Title

Boot and Shoemakers in Nineteenth Century San Francisco, 1860-1892: A Study in Class, Culture, Ethnicity, and Popular Protest in an Industrializing Community

Teaching Experience

1988-2019 San Jose State University

Selected Publications

Review of Michael H. Frisch and Daniel J. Walkowitz, (eds.) Working Class America in New Labor Review, Spring, 1984.

“Of Heroes and Boors: Early Bay Area Baseball,” Baseball Research Journal, (1987.)

“Charley Sweeney: Local Boy Makes Good, Then Not So Good,” Baseball History, (Winter, 1987).

“The California League of 1886-1893: The Last Refuge of Disorganized Baseball,” The Californians, (May-June, 1988).

“The Rise of Spectator Sports in California, 1850-1900,” Southern California Quarterly, (Winter, 1989).

“Cultural Reflections: Early Baseball in California,” The Californian, (September, 1990).

“Organizing California Baseball, 1859-1893,” in Baseball History 4, edited by Peter Levine, (Meckler Press: Greenport, CT, 1990).

“Rube Levy: A Jewish Shoecutter and the Origin of Baseball in Nineteenth Century San Francisco,” California History, (Summer, 1991).

Co-author and editor, Asian Americans in the United States, 2 volumes, Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 1993.

“Jews in San Francisco’s Nineteenth-Century Boot and Shoe Trade,” Western States Jewish History, (July, 1993).

“Chinese Americans and American Sports, 1880-1940,” Chinese American History and Perspectives, 1996.

“Whose Baseball?: The National Pastime in Multicultural California,” Nine: Perspectives in Baseball History and Social Policy, (March, 1996).

Asian Pacific Americans and the United States: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Interpretation, 2 volumes, (McGraw-Hill, 1996). (2nd edition of vol. 1 published 2001) (2nd edition of vol. 2 published 2003).

“Ethnicity,” entry written for The Encyclopedia of World Sport, ABC-CLIO.

“Pacific Crossings: Hawaiian Baseball in the Twentieth Century and the Great Wally Yonamine,” Nine. Perspectives in Baseball History and Social Policy, Fall, 1999.

“Chinese Americans and Sport,” “Mexican Americans and Sport,” “Vincent Nava,” “Duke Kahanamoku,” and “Wally Yonamine,” entries for Encyclopedia of Ethnic Sports in the United States, Greenwood Press. 2000

Crossing Sidelines, Crossing Cultures: Sport and Asian Pacific American Cultural Citizenship, University Press of America, 2000.

Whose Baseball?: The National Pastime and Cultural Diversity in California, 1859-1941, Scarecrow Press, 2001.

“California Baseball’s Mixed Multitudes,” in Baseball and the American Dream: Race, Class, Gender, and the National Pastime, edited by Robert Elias, M.E. Sharpe 2001.

“Race and Minorities” entry for Beacham’s Encyclopedia of American Social Change, Beacham Publishing Corporation, 2002

“Baseball and Racism’s Traveling Eye: Asian Americans and America’s National Pastime,” in America’s Game: Baseball and Ethnicity, edited by Larry Baldassaro and Dick Johnson, Southern Illinois Press, 2002.

Hawaiian Sporting Experiences in the Twentieth Century, Edwin Mellen Press, 2002.

“Mainland Chinese Americans and California Sports: 1880-1950,” and “Progressives and the California Alien Land Laws,” in California’s Changing Majority: Historic and Contemporary Dynamics. Edited by Stephen M. Milner, et. al Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2003.

“Los Angeles Angels,” Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball Teams, edited by Steven Riess, Greenwood Press, 2006.

Asian Pacific Americans: “Keywords,” Theories, and History, McGraw-Hill, 2006.

“From Honolulu to Brooklyn: Some of the Journeys of the Hawaiian Travelers,” Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game,” April, 2008.

Democracy in America: A History,” Kendall-Hunt Publishing Company, 2008.

Asian Pacific Americans and Baseball: A History. McFarland Publishers, Inc, 2008.

Crossing Sidelines, Crossing Cultures: Sport and Asian Pacific American Cultural Citizenship University Press of America, Second Edition, 2009.

“Pacific Islanders and American Football: Hula Honeys, Throwin’ Samoans, and the Rock,” The Barnstorming Hawaiian Travelers: A Multiethnic Baseball Team Tours the Mainland, 1912-1916, McFarland Publishing, Inc., 2012. (Nominated by the Society of American Baseball Research for its Larry Ritter Award)

“Chinese Americans and Baseball”; “Filipino Americans and Baseball,” “Benny Agbayani,” “Chris Aguila”; “Bobby Balcena”; “Jason Bartlett”; “Cha Seuk Baek”; “Hank Conger”; “Geno Espenelli”; “Jeremy Guthrie”; “Danny Graves”; “Tim Lincicum”; “Jim Vo Parque”; “Shane Victorino;” entries contracted for Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, and Political Change. ABC-Clio, 2013.

Asian Pacific Americans: “Keywords,” Theories, and History, McGraw-Hill, revised edition, (e-book) 2014.

"Pacific Islanders and American Football: Hula Hula Honeys, Throwin’ Samoans and the Rock " in Sport in the Pacific : Colonial and Post-Colonial Consequences, edited by Richard King. Routledge, 2014.

"Asian American Baseball and Asian American Communities: The Early Twentieth Century on the Pacific Coast and Hawai'i," Journal of the West, June, 2014.

Keywords and Concepts in Asian American History, BVT Publishing, 2015.

Asian American Basketball: A Century of Sport, Community, and Culture, McFarland Publishing Inc., 2016.

“Asian Americans and Sport,” The Routledge History of American Sport, edited by Linda J. Borish, David K. Wiggins, and Gerald R. Gems, Routledge, 2017.

"Racialized Colonization and The Exoticization of Duke Kahanamoku,” in Much More Than Football and Cricket: International Sport on a Broader Stage, edited by Joel David Rosen and Maureen Smith, University of Mississippi Press, 2017.

“Off the Bench: Asian Americans and Sport in the Santa Clara Valley, During the Mid-Twentieth Century,” San Francisco Bay Area Sports: Golden Gate Athletics, Recreation, and Community, edited by Maureen Smith and Rita Liberti, University of Arkansas Press, 2017.

"Football's Pacific Connections," Football: An American Obsession, edited by Gerald Gems and Gertrud Pfister, Berkshire Publishing, 2017.

Asians and Pacific Islanders and American Football, Lexington Books, 2018.

Franks, Joel. “Sports and Community Building in California.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies. Ed. Ilan Stavans. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

From Honolulu to Brooklyn: Running the American Empire's Base Paths with Buck Lai and the Travelers from Hawaii. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2022.

Personal Commentary

I have taught mainly Asian American Studies and American Studies at San Jose State. In my 30+ years I have met many wonderful colleagues and students, and occasionally not so wonderful colleagues and students.


Franks, Joel Stephen