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May 20 - June 28, 2013This online course examines the role, purpose, and value of sport in American history. The classis arranged chronologically, and we will explore many key themes as we move through theyears: the politics of sport, the business of sport, sport as an arena of celebration and protest,sport and identity-formation, race and ethnicity in sport, gender and sport, and sport as part of nation-building in the American experience.Sports give us a very special lens through which we can engage important historical questions.In fact Bart Giamatti, the former Commissioner of Major League Baseball (and former presidentof Yale University) once wrote:"It has long been my conviction that we can learn far more about the conditions andvalues of a society by contemplating how it chooses to play, to use its free time, to takeits leisure, than by examining how it goes about its work."
Take Time for Paradise: Americans and their Games
(Summit, 1989)I agree! And so it is that in this class we will take sports as our guide to explore American historyover the next six weeks….
* Easy and unfettered access to a computer with a reliable internet connection. This is an onlineclass housed in a software package called Blackboard. You've got to be able to get online. PC orMac, it makes no difference.* A decent web browser. Firefox, Explorer, Safari -- things work best when you have the mostrecent version you can get. There may be some pdf files, so a copy of Adobe Acrobat (free atwww.adobe.com) is advised. There is no need for any special software beyond that.* A place to work and focus. If you cannot find a reliably quiet place to work, it's going to bevery hard for you to be successful.
(1) The class runs from May 20 - June 28, 2013. There are weekly readings and assignments tocomplete. Each week has its own folder on the Blackboard site.(2) This class requires affair amount of independent work but it is NOT self-paced. You need tobe checking in every day, doing all of the work, and keeping up. It is the student’s responsibilityto keep up with the required readings (books, and articles on e-Reserve). Plan well, and don’t fallbehind!(3) The very best way to reach me is via email:dlerner@uvm.edu. I will do my best to get aspeedy reply to you, usually within 24 hours.
REQUIRED READINGSSurvey text (a copy is on reserve at the library)
: Dave Zirin,
 A People’s History of Sports inthe United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play
(The New Press, 2008).
Articles – all are held on electronic reserve at the library:
Mark Dyreson, “Icons of Liberty or Objects of Desire? American Women Olympians and thePolitics of Consumption”
 Journal of Contemporary History
(38:3), 2003. pp.435-460.Elliott Gorn and Warren Goldstein, “Colonists at Play.” Chapter one from Gorn and Goldstein,
 A Brief History of American Sports (
University of Illinois Press,
2004)__________. “Vigorous, Manly Out-of-Door Sports.” Chapter three from Gorn and Goldstein,
 A Brief History of American Sports (
University of Illinois Press,
2004)Othello Harris, “Muhammad Ali and the Revolt of the Black Athlete” in Elliott Gorn (ed.),
 Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ
. (University of Illinois, 1995)Benjamin Rader, “A Revolutionary Moment in Recent American Sports History.”
 Journal of Sports History
, (Fall 2009) 36:3, pp. 315-336.Jules Tygiel, “Unreconciled Strivings: Baseball in Jim Crow America.” Chapter six in Tygiel,
Past Time: Baseball as History
(Oxford, 2000)
ASSIGNMENTS/GRADINGDiscussion Board postings
(25%). The discussion board is where the assigned readings arediscussed as a group. The schedule for this discussion is clearly labeled in the schedule of classesand in the “weekly assignments” folders (one extended discussion per week). All students cansee the posts that appear on the discussion boards.
Journal Entries
(25%). Other times, you'll need to make a private journal entry about a reading.I can see these, but other students cannot, and we will have a one-to-one dialogue about whatyou write. There are four journal entries over the course of the six weeks.
(50%, i.e., 25% each). There are two. Each is to be five pages, double-spaced, withnormal fonts and margins.For essay #1, I will write a question for you to answer using the sources in our course and theknowledge you are gaining.Essay #2 is a critical book review – your chance to select a book from the list below to read andevaluate. I will provide guidelines for the review.Here is the list of books for essay #2: choose one.
Pete Axthelm,
The City Game: Basketball From the Garden to the Playgrounds
 Todd Balf,
 Major: A Black Athlete, A White Era, and the Fight to be the World’s Fastest Human Being
 Michael Bohn,
 Heroes and Ballyhoo: How the Golden Age of the 1920s Transformed American Sports
Susan Cahn,
Coming On Strong: Gender and Sexuality in 20th Century Women’s Sport 
 Susan Cayleff,
 Babe: The Life and Legend of Babe Didrikson Zaharias
 Robert Cottrell,
The Best Pitcher in Baseball: The Life of Rube Foster 
 America’s Girl: The Incredible Story of How Swimmer Gertrude Ederle Changed The Nation
 Frank Deford,
 Big Bill Tilden: The Triumphs and Tragedy
 Mark Frost,
The Grand Slam: Bobby Jones, America, and the Story of Golf 
 Warren Goldstein,
Playing for Keeps: A History of Early Baseball
 Elliott Gorn (ed.),
 Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ
 Aram Goudsouzian,
King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution
Elliot Gorn,
The Manly Art: Bareknuckle Prizefighting in America
 Roger Kahn,
 A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and the Roaring '20s
Walter LaFeber,
 Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism, 2
 Leigh Montville,
The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth
Michael Oriard,
 Reading Football: How the Popular Press Created an American Spectacle
 Randy Roberts,
Papa Jack: Jack Johnson and the Era of White Hopes
 Murray Sperber,
 Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College Sports Is Crippling Undergraduate Education
 Jules Tygiel,
Past Time: Baseball as History
 George Vescey,
 Baseball: A History of America’s Favorite Game
Dave Wangerin,
Soccer in a Football World: The Story of America's Forgotten Game

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