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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2007

AMS 311S • American Sports and Culture-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30330 MWF
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
BUR 228

Course Description

This course explores the role of sports in American cultural history. We will navigate the histories of American society, popular culture, sports culture, design and architecture, and technology. We will consider how ideologies of race, gender, capitalism, and nationalism are culturally constructed and contested through sports. We will analyze how stadiums and other sports spaces reflect and reinscribe cultural values. We will approach these issues, in true American Studies fashion, through a variety of methods and materials. Not only will we develop a better sense of American cultural history, but we will also enhance the critical skills necessary to evaluate how we understand and use sports, as a culture and as individuals

Grading Policy

This course will combine lectures and discussions of topics covered in lectures and readings. Students should be prepared to share their insights. This is also a substantial writing component course. Students will write three papers total: two short, three-to-five page analytical papers and one ten-page research paper. The shorter papers will together count for 40% of the total grade, the research paper will count 40%, and class participation will count for the remaining 20% of the total.


We will read in full Susan Cahn's Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Womens Sport, Eliot Asinofs Eight Men Out, and Madeleine Blaiss In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle. The remainder of the reading will consist of articles and individual book chapters. We will also watch a number of films, including Field of Dreams, Friday Night Lights, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, Hoosiers, and Fight Club.


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