I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I earned the B.A. in History from Florida Atlantic University and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History from The Ohio State University. A Fulbright Scholarship allowed me to pursue dissertation research in London during 1983-1984. I arrived at Belmont University in 1987. I teach courses on medieval history, early modern England, the history of Ireland, and the history of baseball. I also teach a section of the First Year Seminar titled "Denying the Holocaust: How we know what isn't so." I am the author of The Merchant Adventurers of England: The Company and the Crown, 1474-1564 (University of Delaware Press, 1993) and co-author of A history of England, fifth edition, two volumes (Prentice Hall, 2008). In the classroom, I hope my students will see the past as a place where, as G.M. Trevelyan says, there once walked "men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing into another, gone as utterly as we ourselves shall shortly be gone, like ghosts at cockcrow."
I am married to Dr. Cynthia Bisson, who also began her teaching career at Belmont in 1987. Cindy teaches courses on the history of modern Japan, world history, the French Revolution and Napoleon and the history of modern France. Our son, Richard Bisson, is a sophomore at Vanderbilt majoring in physics and mathematics. The latter regards his father's ignorance of science as a source of endless amusement. I am a life-long fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins. Having lived to see the Birds win their tenth World Series in 2006, Dr. Bisson has hopes of seeing the Fins win a third Super Bowl before "he rests in peace, ‘e's kicked the bucket, he's shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible...." As the last line suggests, I am also a fan of Monty Python's Flying Circus.