I’m Rwany Sibaja, an associate professor in the history department at Appalachian State University, where I also serve as the director of the History Education Program. I joined App State in 2015 and have enjoyed being a part of the Mountaineer community .
As a cultural historian of modern Latin American history, my research focuses on sports and leisure. My current book project, Civilization and Barbarism in Argentine Soccer, looks at the conversations around the sport through the concerns and anxieties of Argentina’s middle classes. I completed my Ph.D. in History at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA), an M.A. in History at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a B.A. in History from Elon University (formerly Elon College). My career began as a Spanish and History high school teacher and soccer coach.
In the late 1960s, my parents immigrated to the U.S. from Costa Rica, settling at first in Long Branch, NJ, where I was born. From my father, I grew up with a love for fútbol. However, any sport was fun to play and watch. Because I moved around a lot, my sports fandom has been shaped by living in Los Angeles (CA), Miami (FL), San José (Costa Rica), and Fayetteville (NC). To varying degrees of intensity, I follow the L.A. Lakers, L.A. Dodgers, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta United, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, Appalachian FC, and the national teams of my birth country (USA), family roots (Costa Rica), and research site (Argentina).
It has been wonderful living in the High Country with my wife of 21 years who teaches in Ashe County, a daughter who is a sophomore in college, a son who is a senior at Watauga HS, and our four-year-old Brittany named Django. We are active in the community through our church, various Hispanic initiatives and events, and adult ESL classes.
I look forward to working with you this semester!
For more about my research and interests, visit my professional portfolio. There you can find a list of courses I have developed over the years, publications, presentations, and my CV.