Playing, watching, and talking about sports is perhaps the most popular pastime around the world today. Taking an astonishing variety of forms in different locales, sports and the images, metaphors, narratives, and values that spring up around sports weave themselves into the stories we tell about ourselves and our world, even when we don’t think we’re talking about sports. In this course, we’ll study stories and images purveyed and consumed within sports culture around the globe. We’ll be looking at what they tell us about how we think about such things as play, beauty, goodness, violence, money, sex, gender, race, and nations.
In discussion sections, students will explore these concepts in greater detail and more concretely by 1) completing a reading assignment that fleshes the lecture topic out in relation to a particular example or case from global sports culture; 2) completing a short written reflection on the reading assignment prior to the discussion section meeting. Students will also complete three short and one longer paper.
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The course format is lecture and discussion. Each week’s lecture will offer students historically grounded, philosophically informed reflections on concepts key to critically understanding sports culture in its transnational and global dimensions.