HIST 375

History of Sport in US Society

This course explores the history of sports in the United States and uses that history as a lens for investigating and understanding more fully the range of issues with which that history intersects. To interrogate the history of sports is to situate our current practices in their historical context. We will explore issues such as the following: the historical origins of spectator sports; the impact of major transformations such as industrialization, immigration and the nation's growth into a world power in shaping sports and the athletics industry; the commercialization of athletics and the role of media; racialized, gendered and Sexual exclusion and the fight for inclusion in athletics; the relationship between sports and understandings and practices of gender, sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity; the economics of athletics and the athlete as laborer; health and athletics; the contested role of the athlete in American public life and politics; the tension between athletics and academics at educational institutions. All of these are questions that will help us explore important dynamics in the American past and present.