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Radio Broadcasts -- Two 1-2 minute recordings imaginatively broadcasting a Zoneball game in the 1936 and 2020 Olympics. The purpose of this is to show Dr. Berry that you know how sport has changed in that time!

SENIORS EMAIL the broadcasts to Dr. Berry by Friday, May 13th

underclassmen -- Email them by Final Exam time on Wed, May 18th


Individual Reflections -- submit via google doc to Dr. Berry

In a single-spaced, 1-page informal reflection explain how you contributed to the final project of creating a new sport and reflect on what you learned about collaboration in this class this year

SENIORS EMAIL the reflections to Dr. Berry by Friday, May 13th

underclassmen -- Email them by Final Exam time on Wed, May 18th






Want to look ahead? Go to the Course Schedule
"I heard Jim Brown once say the gladiator can't change Rome. I love Jim Brown. But I disagree. I'll die trying, my brother." ~ Arian Foster, NFL running back



Course Description

Politics, racism, communication and media, sexism, art, public health, competition, power, taxes, regulation, unionization, violence, homophobia, activism, civil rights, equality. All of these topics appear in nearly every "normal" history course. But they also appear every day on the sports page. Sports are a microcosm of the most important developments and controversies of American culture. Indeed "sport" is a primary cultural institution which illuminates dominant relations of power particularly along the axis of race, gender, class. Many would argue that America democratized on the ball field, in the boxing ring, and on the turf long before it did so anywhere else. Our course this semester is going to be organized as a topical look at the cultural power of sport in our contemporary society. To enhance our learning about current debates, we will turn to history to find the roots of those debates. Thus, the course is less a traditional "chronological" history and more of an attempt to understand the contemporary power of sport informed with a historical lens.


Course Organization

See the Course Schedule for specific assignments

Sport is most powerfully understood viscerally -- through the senses. Historically, images and stories (thru newspapers and the sports page), film (especially TV and documentaries), and audio (thru radio broadcasts) have been the mediums through which the power of sport has been communicated. Our course will be organized along these mediums.

The class will have an on-going, collaboraitve assignment called "The Tribune," a blog/website in which students will create a chronicle that "reports" on our learning and connects our learning to current developments in sports. Each edition (there will be 3) will have different editors whose job it will be to collect the articles, images, etc. and put the edition together. The Tribune will be worth 15% of the semseter grade.

In addition to the Tribune, there will be reading quizzes (worth 10% of the semester grade). There will be 10 random, often unannounced quizzes. They will not be difficult IF you have read the assigned material and if you have been staying tuned to ESPN.Com,, and ESPN SportsCenter. The top 7 scores on the quizzes will count toward your grade. This means you could miss three of the quizzes. You may not make up quizzes. You are allowed to drop three quizzes because I recognize that sometimes you may miss class. But you should not miss an extraordinary number of classes.

A participation grade given daily (worth 20% of the semester grade).

Our larger projects will include:

Boys in the Boat Roundtable and Radio Broadcast (10% of overall semester grade)

Create a New Sport Project (15% for the sport -- rubric to come and 5% forpresentation to 5th graders):

You will create a new sport for the 21st century....and teach it to the 5th grade. More details to come!

BIG 3 Sports Close-ups: In pairs, you will research the history and rules and current controversies for the Big 3 sports in the US (Football, Basketball, Baseball) which you will present to the class (10%) and you will write a 2-3 page essay on a "minor" sport that you are interested in for the Tribune (5%).

Super Bowl Analysis (10%):

Early in the semseter, you will be asked to watch one of the most important sporting events in the United States, the Super Bowl (which is professional football for those of you who don't know). You will be asked to think about the event as a cultural microcosm of the controversies present in sport in general. The essay will be both an analysis of the actual game and a research paper into professional sports through the prism of football. The essay will be 5-7 pages long.

More information on each of these assignments will be given as they are assigned.