Bad Prof’s Global Sports Cultures Lectures

This semester, I’m teaching Global Sports Cultures for the third time.   I offer it through the Department of Comparative Literature at Michigan at the 100 level, meaning that it is open to students at all levels and from all colleges and majors at the University.  It consists of a lecture delivered once per week to all the students enrolled in the course (175), and then two discussion section meetings per week following that lecture.

I’ve learned that for the great majority of these students, this is the first humanities course they’ve taken in their college careers.  Realizing this has led me to revise the course materials and my approach to the lectures.

The University’s offers a lecture capture service for instructors and I’m able to make these available to the general public. Below is a list of the topics, along with the materials students were assigned to read or watch for the week that we’d be dealing with it.

  1. Ways of Seeing
    1. Mike Cronin, Sport: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)
      1. Introduction
      2. Chapter 1: Origins
      3. Chapter 2: Modern
    2. Ben Carrington and David L. Andrews, “Introduction: Sport as Escape, Struggle and Art,” from the anthology they edited entitled A Companion to Sport (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013)
  2. The Body
    1. Dominic Malcolm: “Body,” from SAGE Dictionary of Sports Studies (London: SAGE, 2008)
    2. Stephen Wagg: “The Body/Embodiment (Health and Exercise),” from Key Concepts in Sports Studies (London: SAGE, 2009)
    3. Heather L. Reid: “Chapter Seven: Mind and Body,” Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2012)
    4. Chris Shilling, “5. Sporting Bodies,” from The Body in Culture, Technology and Society (London: SAGE, 2005).
    5. Richard Shusterman, “1. Thinking Through the Body: Educating the Humanities” from Thinking Through the Body: Essays in Somaesthetics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012)
  3. Play
    1. Dominic Malcolm: “Homo Ludens,” from SAGE Dictionary of Sports Studies
    2. Stephen A. Schmid,  “Play” from The Bloomsbury Companion to the Philosophy of Sport, Ed. Cesar Torres (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014)
    3. Heather L. Reid, “Chapter Three: Sport and Play,” Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport
    4. Randolph Feezell, “A Pluralistic Conception of Play”, from The Philosophy of Play, Ed. Emily Ryall, Wendy Russell, and Malcolm MacLean (New York: Routlede, 2013)
    5. Stuart Lester, “Playing in a Deleuzian Playground,” The Philosophy of Play.
  4. Limits
    1. Heather L. Reid, “Chapter Four: Sport and Games,” Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport
    2. Jan Boxill, “Competition,” The Bloomsbury Companion to the Philosophy of Sport
    3. Steven Connor, Chapters Two through Seven (covering “Space,” “Time,” “Movement,” “Equipment,” “Rules,” and “Winning”) in his A Philosophy of Sport (London: Reaktion Books, 2011).
  5. Values
    1. Wagg, “Doping/Drugs” from Key Concepts in Sports Studies
    2. Carlton Brick, “Ethics” from Key Concepts in Sports Studies
    3. From Malcolm, SAGE Dictionary of Sports Studies
      1. “Drugs”;
      2. “Fair Play”;
      3. “The Sport Ethic”
      4. “Violence”
    4. From Torres, ed.,  The Bloomsbury Companion to the Philosophy of Sport
      1. Warren Fraleigh, “Cheating,”
      2. Adam G. Pfleegor, “Deception”
      3. Angela J. Schneider, “Doping,”
      4. W. M. Brown, “Enhancements,”
      5. Mark Hamilton, “Gamesmanship,”
      6. Diana Abad, “Sportsmanship,”
    5. Joseph H. Kupfer, “Sport—The Body Electric,” from Experience as Art: Aesthetics in Everyday Life (Albany: SUNY Press, 1983)
    6. Reid, “Chapter Six: Sport and Art,” Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport
    7. Reid, “Part III: Ethical Issues in Sport,” Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport
  6. Organizations
    1. Cronin, Sport: A Very Short Introduction
      1. Chapter 3: Amateurs and Professionals
      2. Chapter 4: International
    2. Malcolm, “Amateurism,” from SAGE Dictionary of Sports Studies
    3. Wagg, “Amateurism,” from Key Concepts in Sports Studies
    4. From Eddie Comeaux, ed. Introduction to Intercollegiate Athletics
      1. Billy Hawkins ,Ashley R. Baker, and Velina B. Brackebusch ,“ Intercollegiate Athletics and Amateurism,”
      2. Angela Lumpkin, “Ethical Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics,”
      3. Joy Gaston Gayles, “Today’s College Athletes,”
      4. Ellen J. Staurovsky “College Athletes’ Rights,”
  7. Markets
    1. Cronin, Sport: A Very Short Introduction, “Chapter 5: Business”
    2. Malcolm, “Commodification,” “Consumer Culture,” “Nike,” and “Sponsorship,” from SAGE Dictionary of Sports Studies
    3. Wagg,  “Capitalism,” “Commodification/Commodity Fetishism,” and “Consumption” from Key Concepts in Sports Studies
    4. Emily Ryall, “30. Does Commercialism Ruin Sport?” from Philosophy of Sport: Key Questions
    5. Samantha King, “Nike U: Full-Program Athletics Contracts and the Corporate University” from Sport and Neoliberalism, Ed. David L. Andrews and Michael Silk
    6. Barry Smart, “Global Sporting Icons: Consuming Signs of Economic and Cultural Transformation,” from A Companion to Sport, Ed. David Andrews and Ben Carrington
  8. Media
    1. Malcolm:“Celebrity,” pp. 38-39“Media,” pp. 165-167
    2. From Wagg, “Fandom,” pp. 76-82
    3. David Rowe, “The Sport/Media Complex: Formation, Flowering and Future,” from A Companion to Sport, Ed. David Andrews and Ben Carrington
    4. Eileen Kennedy and Laura Hills “Introduction: Interacting with Media Sport” and “Chapter 1: Analysing Media Sport,” from Sport, Media, Society 
  9. Politics
    1. Cronin, Sport: A Very Short Introduction, “Chapter 6: The Dark Side”
    2. Wagg:“Gender,” “Globalization/Anti-Globalization,” “Politics/Policy/Power,” “’Race’ and Ethnicity,” “Sexuality,” “Social Class,” “State, Nation,,Nationalism” from Key Concepts in Sports Studies
    3. Reid, “IV. Social and Political Issues in Sport” from Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport
    4. David Rowe, “Stages of the Global: Media, sport, racialization and the last temptation of Zinedine Zidane” International Review for the Sociology of Sport (2010)
  10. Images
    1. Bruce Babington, “Introduction: Start of Play,” from The Sports Film
    2. Seán Crosson, “Reading the Sports Film,” from Sport and Film
    3. Invictus
    4. June 17th, 1994
  11. Numbers
    1. Marshall McLuhan, “Number: Profile of the Crowd,” from Understanding Media
    2. Benjamin Baumer and Andrew Zimbalist, from The Sabermetric Revolution, pp. ix-xiii, 1-22, and 85-101
    3. Andrew Baerg, “Sport, Analytics and the Number as a Communication Medium,” from Routledge Handbook of Sport Communication, Ed. Paul M. Pedersen
    4. Andrew Baerg, “Big Data, Sport and the Digital Divide: Theorizing How Athletes Might Respond to Big Data Monitoring,” Journal of Sport and Social Issues (2016)
  12. Words (with a visit by Jimmy King)
    1. Jonathan Culler, “Rhetoric, Poetics, and Poetry,” “Narrative,” “Performative Language,” and “Identity, Identification, and the Subject,” from Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction
    2. Claudia Rankine, “II” from Citizen: An American Lyric
    3. Haruki Murakami, “Athens in Midsummer—Running 26.2 Miles for the First Time,” from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running