Welcome

Brian Regal, PhD, FLS
History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Department of History, Townsend Hall 117
College of Liberal Arts
Kean University
1000 Morris Ave., Union, NJ 07083 USA
Phone #: 908-737-0261
Email: bregal@kean.edu
 
Fellow of the Linnean Society, London
Fellow, Kean University Center for History, Politics & Policy

Research Interests: The historical aspects of Human evolution, Darwiniana, Monster studies, Racial anthropology, Creationism, Pseudoscience, the Occult, Obscuranta and Esoterica, American national origin theories

:Web page updated July 18, 2018

Look for me in the upcoming BBC documentary Mythical Beasts, and a PBS Special both in the fall. Also, the History Channel series, True Monsters.


My New Podcast:
Crackpots & Eggheads: The History of Science from the Darkside
Episode 1
My Fall 2018 Office Hours:
Tuesday 9:00am-1:00pm, 2:00-4:00pm
Wednesday 9:00am-11:00am, 1:00-4:00pm
Thursday 2:00-4:00pm
Saturday 12:00-1:00pm

Find me on:
Twitter @Tarbosaur
Academia.Edu http://kean.academia.edu/BrianRegal





Latest Book:
The Secret History of the Jersey Devil (with Frank J. Esposito) by Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018.


Other Books:
      

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My Work:
Also see my CV above and 
my profile on the Department of History's faculty page

I have lectured and presented papers to scholarly conferences and popular presentations across the US, the UK, and Germany. I have completed fellowships at the Mary Baker Eddy Papers Project, Boston, at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, and have reviewed grant proposals for the National Science Foundation (NSF) on both human origins and alchemy. I am on the editorial board of the history of science journal Endeavour.

The broad scope of my research concerns the history of human origins.  My focus is less on human evolution itself than on an intellectual historical study of how scientific theories are constructed, and then perceived and used in popular culture, religion, and politics for extra-scientific ends.  My first book Henry Fairfield Osborn: Race and the Search for the Origins of Man  (2002) is an attempt to unravel the complex and contradictory nature of a theory of human evolution which was simultaneously scientific and religious and which was designed to show more than just where the first humans arose, but how American society should be ordered.  Human Evolution: a guide to the debates  (2004) takes an interdisciplinary approach by including such topics as popular culture, eugenics and creationism along with traditional aspects of evolution history to show the interconnected aspect of human origin studies and how they go beyond finding fossils, isolating DNA, and dating strata.

As an historian of science I am particularly interested in the relationship between professional scientists and their amateur counterparts.  I write about how the fringe and mainstream interact, co-mingle and argue, whether it is over the creation/evolution debate or American national origins theories.

My previous book is an historical analysis of the lives of mainstream scientists--particularly the controversial paleoanthropologist Grover Krantz (1931-2002)--who believed anomalous primates like the Sasquatch and Yeti were real animals, not just relics of folklore or hoaxes.  I accessed archives and libraries of North America and England using long forgotten letters, correspondence, diaries, and notebooks of scientists who researched humanoid monsters. The results were published as Searching for Sasquatch: Crackpots, Eggheads and Cryptozoology (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013).

My current research project is charting how theories of who 'really' discovered America came out of the social, cultural, and political context of their times rather than any historical or archaeological reality. It is tentatively titled, Waiting for Columbus.

My latest book is a radical reinterpretation of the legend of the Jersey Devil written with my Kean colleague Dr. Frank J. Esposito. Rather than viewing the origins of the myth in some biological creature, we see the story as born of the religious and political upheavals, and publishing rivalries of colonial America. It is titled The Secret History of the Jersey Devil: how Hucksters, Quakers, and Benjamin Franklin Created a Monster (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018).

 
How I spent my 19th birthday. (On the Iron Curtain border patrol, West Germany, 1979©).
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