Writing Seminars: Sports and Race

During NFL preseason last year, Colin Kaepernick sat quietly during the national anthem to protest the treatment of African Americans in the United States.  It took two games before anyone noticed; when they did, the responses starkly divided locker rooms, clubhouses, and dinner tables that include the “stick to sports” crowd who imagine sports as an escape from the problems of the world to the those who see politics influencing every aspect of life, even our games. Kaepernick is not the first to use his platform as an athlete to advocate for social change, following in the footsteps of Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali. But his choice reminds us that sports are a nexus of values in our culture. In this class, we will think about race and society through our favorite games. From arguments over mascots in Cleveland and Washington, D.C., to questions of masculinity in the NFL, to protest and self-assertion in the WNBA, teams and individuals have added their voice to this conversation for decades. How do sports fit into our social consciousness? What does acceptable protest look like if such a thing is possible? Is celebrity a proper platform to discuss race and social justice? Can our favorite games can teach us more than the fundamentals of skill, technique, and teamwork and perhaps provide a new framework for analyzing our world?


Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 28, 2017.

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TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm