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

Spring 2008

AMS 311S • American Sports and Culture-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29765 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
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 one five-to-seven page analytical essay and one ten-page research paper with a substantial revision. The essay will count for 25% of the total grade, the research paper and revision will count 50%, and in-class quizzes will count for the remaining 25%.


We will read in full Susan Cahn: Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Women's Sport Eliot Asinof: Eight Men Out Madeleine Blais: 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 The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, Friday Night Lights, and Hoosiers.


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