American Sports History 美國運動史

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American Sports History 美國運動史

Fall 2013

Thursday 4:10-6

Joe Eaton, PhD

Office - 340527

Course description:
We examine the historical development of sports in the United States from a societal and cultural viewpoint. The course provides opportunity to examine the relationship between sports and nationalism, sports and politics, sports and the economy, sports and society change, sports and gender, and sports and American expansion.
Course contents include lecture, secondary readings, primary source readings, and film. We will examine the gradual development of an American sports culture and the changing attitudes towards sports. Emphasize will be given to early sports culture, including blood sports, and particularly to the creation and development of baseball, pugilism, college football, and basketball within the American context.
Knowledge of sports is not a prerequisite for the course.
The course will be especially valuable to students who wish to develop their English-language reading, speaking, and writing skills while studying the social/cultural history of sport in the United States.
Please, no food during class. Please, no use of cell phones during class, and confine use of tablets/laptops to class use, i.e. taking notes.
This syllabus is subject to change.
You will need to access articles and short readings on the internet, the NCCU library database (including “JSTOR”), the website, and other databases or websites.
Method of Evaluation

Attendance and participation, occasional pop quizzes – 10%

Mid-term Exam 4-23 – 30%

Essay – 30% (4-6 pages, topic: “Significant aspect of an American sports figure”. Due 5-28 in class. I will announce more details. Do not email your essay. Late essays (10% grade reduction per week)

Final – 6-25 – 30%
Course outline, by week (Subject to change)
2-26: Introduction to the course, Colonial Sports Culture

3-5: Early National Sports Culture, Early Ball Games

3-12: Boxing’s slow start in America

A. “The First American Championship Prizefight” Elliott J. Gorn, OAH Magazine of History, Vol. 7, No. 1

3-19: Baseball, (finally) an American Pastime

A. Reading TBA

3-26: College Football

A. “ATHLETIC SPORTS” The Albion, A Journal of News, Politics and Literature (1822-1876); Apr 5, 1873

B. “The Rise and Fall of the Flying Wedge: Football’s Most Controversial Play” Scott A. McQuikin and Ronald A. Smith, Journal of Sports History 20 (Spring 1993)

C. “FOOTBALL UNFIT GAME SAYS PRESIDENT ELIOT” New York Times (1857-1922); Feb 3, 1906
4-2: Football Reform

  1. “The Gridiron Crisis of 1905” John Watterson, Journal of Sport History 27 (Summer 2000)

  1. “THE NEW FOOTBALL” Walter Camp, Outing Magazine (1906-1911); Oct 1910; 57

  2. “YALE FROWNS UPON NEW FOOTBALL RULES” New York Times (1857-1922); May 22, 1910

4-9: The Black Sox Scandal & Baseball’s Gold Age:

  1. “At the Nexus of Labor and Leisure: Baseball, Nativism, and the 1919 Black Sox Scandal” Robin F. Bachin, Journal of Social History, Vol. 36, No. 4 (Summer, 2003), pp. 941-962

  2. Babe Ruth look at section “In Sports”
4-16: Basketball, a Sport with a Purpose

  1. “Origin of the Game of Basket Ball” Sporting Life (1916)

  1. Ethnicity and early 20th century urban basketball – the Jews
4-23: Midterm
4-30: Women and Sport

  1. Women and Basketball (and Bicycles) “American Women and Sport” Jane Curry and Marjorie Bingham, OAH Magazine of History, Vol. 7, No. 1, History of Sport, Recreation, and Leisure (Summer, 1992), pp. 39-49

5-7: Ali

  1. “The Importance of Muhammad Ali” Thomas Hauser
B. Documentary video: “When We Were Kings” (1996)
5-14: NBA and ABA

A. “Remember the ABA” 
5-21: The NFL – humble origins to America’s most popular league

Reading – to be announced

5-28: The United States and the Olympics

Reading – to be announced

*Essay due in class (do not email your essay)
6-4: The Battle of the Sexes

A. “The Battle of the Sexes” Gail Collins
6-11: Americans and Soccer

  1. “Review of Colin Jose, American Soccer Leap, 1921-31” in Journal of Sport History 27 (Summer 2000)

  1. “USA doesn’t deserve outcast status” Paul Gardner, Soccer America 2000

  1. “Why Soccer is not popular in the United States”
6-18: To be announced
6-25: Final

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