Schedule of Topics and Readings

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UNIT ONE: 2024 Copa América (Intro)

Week One (Jan 16 / 18): Introduction to the Course, WordPress, Zotero

In-class Readings >> Sports History: Views from Historians

  • Group A: Howard, Josh. “Clifton Forge and Back Again.” The International Journal of the History of Sport 34, no. 5–6 (2017): 340–45.
  • Group B: Anderson, Patricia. “On Searching for the Latin American Sportswoman and Finding an Argentine Sports Historian.” The International Journal of the History of Sport 34, no. 5–6 (2017): 315–19.
  • Group C: Moore, Louis. “When I Fell in Love with Sports History.” The International Journal of the History of Sport 34, no. 5–6 (2017): 405–8.
  • Group D: Dichter, Heather. “Animalympics, Or How I Became a Sport Scholar.” The International Journal of the History of Sport, 34:5-6 (2017): 335-339,

Week Two (Jan 23 / 25): Zotero 101 / 2024 Copa América + Messi & the Crisis of National Identity

  • Sibaja, Rwany. “America’s (Soccer) Cup: 100 Years of Copa América” Sport in American History, June 6, 2016. >> Stop at “Venues and Teams”
  • This is How it All Started in 1916-Heading to the 2024 CONMEBOL Copa America.” July 26, 2023. Accessed Jan 16, 2024.
    • Explore the website. Select EN from the dropdown menu (top right corner), and see which stadiums, teams, and scheduled matches will take place this summer.

Podcast & Video

  • Before Jan 23 – Watch part 2 of Sean Eternos
  • Before Jan 25 – Watch part 3 of Sean Eternos

Week Three (Jan 30 / Feb 1): Icons of South American Soccer / Fandom / Super Bowl

Groups C & D – listen to:

Groups A & B – listen to:


Video & Student Contribution – watch before class on Feb 1, bring to class on Feb 1

  • ALL: Watch video on Boca-River “superclásico” 
  • Bring to class a Super Bowl 58 news article or video

UNIT TWO: Early History of American Sports

Week Four (Feb 6 / 8): “Old Boys’ Schools,” Muscular Christianity, & Missionaries of Sport

Week Five (Feb 13 / 15): Civilizing the Nation: Physical Education & Sports / Early History of Soccer

  • [ALL] Elsey, Brenda, and Joshua Nadel. Futbolera: A History of Women and Sports in Latin America. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2020. Chapter 1.
  • Group A (US): Holroyd, Steve. “Meet the Babe Ruth of American Soccer.” Society for American Soccer History (blog), May 4, 2015.
  • Group B (Canada): Lange, Dave. “A Soccer Christmas Story, 1884.” Society for American Soccer History (blog), January 11, 2023.
  • Group C (Uruguay): Cruz, Martin da. From Beauty to Duty: A Footballing History of Uruguay, 1878-1917. Chichester, West Sussex: Pitch Publishing, 2022. [Read Intro; focus on either chp. 1 or 2, skim the other chp.]
  • Group D (Brazil): Bigalke, Zachary R. “Early Afro-Brazilian Soccer Stars and the Myth of Racial Democracy.” Sport in American History(blog), March 23, 2017.

In-Class assignment and reading (Feb 15 – end of class): Activity – go to this link // Allaway, Roger. “A Stumbling Start for U.S. Pro Soccer.” Society for American Soccer History (blog), December 2, 2015. 

Week Six (Feb 20 / 22*): Early History of Baseball / * No Class Meeting

  • [ALL] Ruck, Rob. Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game. Boston: Beacon Press, 2011. Chapter 1.
  • Group A (Cuba) : González Echevarría, Roberto. The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999—Pages 75-111. [Chapter 4]
  • Group B (Puerto Rico): Park, Roberta J. “From La Bomba to Béisbol: Sport and the Americanisation of Puerto Rico, 1898–1950.” The International Journal of the History of Sport 28, no. 17 (2011): 2575–2593.
  • Group C (Venezuela): Rausch, Jane M. “Play Ball! The Gómez Dictatorship and the Development of Baseball in Venezuela, 1909-1935.” Journal of Caribbean History 55, no. 2 (July 2021): 176–94.
  • Group D (US): Gumstead, Robert. “Baseball, the Lost Cause, and the New South in Richmond, Virginia.” The Sporting World of the Modern South, edited by Patrick Miller. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002. [Chapter 2]

Week Seven (Feb 27 / 29): Choose Your ONE Story: Early History of (Multiple Sports)/ Lab Day

  • Wrestling: Kyriakoudes, Louis M. and Peter A. Coclanis. “‘The Tennessee Test of Manhood’: Professional Wrestling and Southern Cultural Stereotypes.” The Sporting World of the Modern South[Chapter 11]
  • Wrestling: Levi, Heather. The World of Lucha Libre: Secrets, Revelations, and Mexican National Identity. Durham: Duke University Press, 2008. [Chapter 3]
  • NASCAR: Rybacki, Karyn Charles and Donald Jay Ribacki. “The King, the Young Prince, and the Last Confederate Soldier: NASCAR on the Cusp.” The Sporting World of the Modern South[Chapter 12]
  • Softball: Westly, Erica. Fastpitch: The Untold History of Softball and the Women Who Made the Game. New York: Touchstone, 2016. [Chapters 2-4]
  • Track & Field: Nzindukiyimana, Ornella. “John ‘Army’ Howard, Canada’s First Black Olympian: A Nation-Building Paradox.” The International Journal of the History of Sport 34, no. 11 (July 24, 2017): 1140–60. EBSCO link.
  • Boxing: Sheinin, David. “Boxing in the Making of a Costeño Identity” Sports Culture in Latin American History. [Chapter 7]
  • Football (and Exercise): Swanson, Ryan. The Strenuous Life: Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of the American Athlete. New York: Diversion Books, 2019. [Chapters 1 & 2]

GOOGLE SLIDE (group analysis)

UNIT THREE: Bodies as Contested Spaces

Week Eight (Mar 5 / 7): Sports & Ethnicity / Sports & Race

In-Class Reading/Viewing:

Week Nine (Mar 19 / 21): Manliness & Sports / Challenging Femininity (Film)

  • [ALL] Futbolera. Chapter 2.
  • Group A: Hugo Cerón-Anaya, Privilege at Play: Class, Race, Gender, and Golf in Mexico (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019) [Chapter 6]
  • Group B: Donoghue, Michael. “Roberto Durán, Omar Torrijos, and the Rise of Isthmian Machismo.” Sports Culture in Latin American History. [Chapter 1]
  • Group C: Gils, Bieke. “Flying, Flirting, and Flexing: Charmion’s Trapeze Act, Sexuality, and Physical Culture at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.” Journal of Sport History 41, no. 2 (2014): 251-268.
  • Group D: Taylor, Katie. “‘Here’s the Football Heroine’: Female American Football Players, 1890–1912.” Sport in History (2020). EBSCO link.


Week Ten (Mar 26 / 28): Film / Book Club (Fútbol, Jews & the Making of Argentina; ACC Basketball)

  • NO readings this week. Instead, come prepared to discuss your book on Mar 28 …
    • 12:30-1:05 pm: Rein, Raanan. Fútbol, Jews, and the Making of Argentina. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014.
    • 1:10-1:45 pm: Walker, J. Samuel. ACC Basketball: The Story of the Rivalries, Traditions, and Scandals of the First Two Decades of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

Week Eleven (Apr 2 / 4*): Book Club (When Baseball Went White; The Rise of Gridiron University) / *No Class Meeting

  • NO readings this week. Instead, come prepared to discuss your book on Apr 2 …
    • 12:30-1:05 pm: Ingrassia, Brian M. The Rise of Gridiron University: Higher Education’s Uneasy Alliance with Big-Time Football. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2015.
    • 1:10-1:45 pm: Swanson, Ryan A. When Baseball Went White: Reconstruction, Reconciliation, and Dreams of a National Pastime. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014.

UNIT FOUR: Sports & International Relations

Week Twelve (Apr 9 / 11): Sports & State Terrorism / Sports & State Projects (North America)

Week Thirteen (Apr 16 / 18): Class Presentations

  • NO readings this week.

Week Fourteen (Apr 23 / 25): Mountaineer Soccer / Film & Analysis

  • [ALL] Wood, Jesse. “App State’s Rich Soccer Tradition…Was the Golden Era Pushed to the Wayside?” High Country Magazine 11, no. 2 (October/November 2015), pp. 8, 18-32.
  • Link 1
  • Link 2
  • Link 3
  • Link 4

Week Fifteen (Apr 30): Course Wrap Up

  • NO required readings this week.

MAKE-UP Readings allowed for partial credit, if needed. Choose TWO of the following:

Final Exam (May 9 – 11am to 1:30pm)