Jul 13, 2024  
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2023-2024 
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENGL 208 - Sports Literature

3 Credits: (3 lecture)

Course Description
This course is a reading-intensive study of representative works that present and explore key cultural, social, political, aesthetic, and philosophical issues related to sports. This course operates on the premise that sports is an integral part of human culture and society. Given this premise, students will contextualize sports within this wider context, as well as clarify sports’ role in both reflecting and generating cultural and social change. Moreover, students will contribute their own insights to on-going conversations about sports and culture through writing and discussions.


Prerequisite ENGL 101, or permission of the instructor.

Colas, Yago. Ball Don ‘t Lie: Myth, Genealogy, and Invention in the Cultures of Basketball. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 2016.

Dryden, Ken. The Game: 30th Anniversary ed. Harper Collins Publishing, 2013.

Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich. In Praise of Athletic Beauty. Belknap Press of the Harvard UP, 2006.

Sexton, John, Thomas Oliphant, and Peter J. Schwartz. Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game. New York: Penguin, 2013.

The student will be able to:  

A. Record and share active, critical, insightful notes on sports and culture texts. 

B. Contribute critical insights to in-class discussions.  

C. Respond in various forms of formal writing to sports and culture texts.   

D. Apply philosophical and theoretical concepts and frameworks in critical papers.  

E. Report on one sports and culture text by means of a presentation.  

A. Thematic overview of important issues related to sports and culture. 

B. Historical developments in sports, both domestically and globally. 

C. Philosophical concepts and frameworks for interpreting sports. 

D. Sports studies research from fields such as sociology. 

Student Evaluation
A. Reading journal. 

B. Active participation/attendance. 

C. Critical papers, Reading responses. 

D. Critical papers. 

E. Class presentation of one selected text. 

Andrews, David L. and Ben Carrington eds. A Companion to Sport. Wiley Blackwell. 2013.  

Barthes, Roland. What Is Sport? Yale University Press, 2007. 

Buford, Bill. Among The Thugs. Vintage Books, 1993. 

Goldblatt, David. The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Soccer. Riverhead Books, 2006. 

—. The Games: A Global History of the Olympics. W.W. Norton, 2016. 

Giulianotti, Richard and Roland Robertson. Globalization and Football. Sage Publications, 2009. 

Guttmann, Allen. Games and Empires: Modern Sports and Cultural Imperialism. Columbia University Press, 1994. 

—. Sports: the First Five Millenia. University of Massachusetts Press, 2004. 

James, C.L.R. Beyond A Boundary. 50th Anniversary ed., Duke University Press, 2013.  

Jarvie, Grant. Sport, Culture and Society: An Introduction. 3rd ed., Routledge, 2018. 

McCambridge, Michael. America’s Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation. Anchor Books, 2005. 

Sexton, John, et al. Baseball as a Road to God. Gotham Books, 2014.  

Shoals, Bethlehem and Jacob Weinstein. FreeDarko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History. Bloomsbury, 2010. 

Wagg, Stephen, et al. Key Concepts in Sports Studies. Sage Publications, 2009.   

Wallace, David Foster. String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis. Library of America, 2016.  

Zirin, Dave. A People’s History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play. The New Press, 2009.