As part of the LSA Theme Semester “Sport and the University,” this course will allow students to explore how sport intersects with a range of academic disciplines, a variety of professional careers, and each of our lives.
As we’ll talk about in this course, sports are a vital, fun, and often passionate part of culture in the U.S. and around the world generally, and on the University of Michigan campus specifically. While sports are often categorized as “extracurricular,” sport is also studied rigorously across the university as part of the curriculum. Students will get a chance to hear from University of Michigan experts on, for example:
- the physics of hockey and ice skating;
- Title IX and how it changed the face of intercollegiate athletics;
- the engineering of prosthetics;
- the economics of sports;
- intersections of race, psychology and athletics;
- current longitudinal studies on concussions from sport;
- the language of sports in everyday life;
- sport and efforts to promote peace;
- the expression of emotion through body movements (and how to track that).
Sport is also a central part of many professional careers, only one of which is being a professional athlete. The course will include guest lectures from coaches, athletics administrators, journalists, health professionals, and leaders in other professional fields about how their careers — and often their lives more generally — have been shaped by sport.
Through participation in these conversations, students will have the opportunity to explore how sport has intersected with their own lives and may have shaped — and continue to shape — their skill sets, interests, and goals. The only requirement of the course is a genuine interest in sport and how it intersects with our lives at the university and well beyond.
All students are expected to attend class regularly and participate actively with guests speakers and in group discussions. In addition to short written assignments (some of them on the course blog) throughout the term, there will be three major written assignments, which will give students a chance to reflect on their own experiences with sport, follow sport in the news, and interview an expert of their choice. Students will also be expected to attend a few events listed on the calendar for the LSA Theme Semester website. No final exam.
Students with interests from the humanities to the sciences to engineering to education, both those who have not yet decided on a major and those who have already declared.