Section Information for Fall 2017
History 341 examines the development of sports in America, from the colonial period to the present. Students will explore how unorganized and impromptu athletic activities were transformed into spectator sports at the collegiate and professional level, and the ways in which sports reflected and informed issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity and international politics. Specific topics include: the transformation of “blood sports” into acceptable athletic pursuits, such as boxing; amateurism and the rise of athletic clubs; baseball’s popularity during the first half of the twentieth century; sports heroes of the 1920s and 1930s; women’s sports; racial segregation in sports; athletic rivalries during the Cold War; and the globalization of American sports. Students will also examine important events in sports history, including the 1919 Black Sox scandal, the bouts between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, the racial integration of major sports leagues, the creation of free agency, the establishment of Title IX, and the American-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The course will consist of films, readings, lectures and discussions.