Nicholas Sammond, assistant professor of media and society, was featured in the Village Voice (New York, N.Y.) article “Wrestling With the Margins,” for his collection of academic essays, “Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling.” Each author worked from the basis of French literary theorist and semiotician Roland Barthes's famous 1957 essay “The World of Wrestling.”
Sammond attributed the frequency of references to Barthes within the collection to academia's inability to accept study of such a topic without a plug into a reliable scholarly source, rather than to critics' inability to move past old ideas. “Because not too many people have written about wrestling, Barthes is an opening into the topic, and somewhat necessary to nod to,” he said.
Wrestling is “on the decline,” Sammond said, but he foresees wrestling being rejuvenated at the local level, where new story lines can develop and genuine characters emerge. “I don't think it will ever decline completely. As long as there are people out there who identify with those on the margins, it will continue.”
Sammond joined the Colleges faculty in 2003.