Last Fall, I inaugurated a new large lecture/small discussion group format course at Michigan called Global Sports Cultures. I organized it around conceptual lenses—play, values, creativity, media, market, politics, etc.—that I’ve found useful for looking at a variety of sporting phenomena. Each week’s concept was then explored through a concrete case study, which could be an individual athlete, an event, a team, a particular match or competition, or possibly even a single play. You can see how I did this last fall here or learn more about my approach to teaching in general.
Some of them worked well, some did not. In an effort to do better this fall, I’m looking for readers to brainstorm suggestions for case studies that might illuminate the concepts I’m working with.
There are a few criteria I’d like to keep in mind. First, I’d like a variety of sports (including especially sports outside of the big four professional US men’s sports), some geographical and gender diversity. Second, the case study should ideally be the subject of both some scholarly work (for those without access to this, don’t let that stop you from making a suggestion) and some excellent or otherwise interesting journalistic writing. Third, bear in mind that the course is offered at the 100 level (so open to students of all levels), so we can make no presumptions about the students’ levels of experience with college level reading, interpretation, and writing. Lastly, it would be great if the case study were portrayed in some audio-visual artifact like a youtube clip or, perhaps, a documentary.
You can offer your suggestions in the comments section, via e-mail, or using the contact form below.
Finally, please share this widely with anyone among your friends or followers who you think might have something interesting to offer.