This course examines how sports, far from simple entertainment, can be a key towards understanding larger social and intellectual shifts. For example, what can one learn about the Civil Rights Movement through the prism of Jackie Robinson's major league debut? While this class will heavily focus on the modern era, beginning with the resuscitation of the Olympic Games in 1896, and often on the United States, there will be a strong grounding in a "long history" of athletics and society guaranteed to give students a comprehensive investigation of this topic. Course assignments and readings will give students a front row seat to some of the most important events, actors, and debates within this paradigm. Treating its subject from a rare perspective, anyone who takes this course will neer think about sports the same way again.
Instructor: Prof. Adrian Burgos