Why Sports? It’s a question many sport historians deal with on a fairly regular basis—often asked by other researchers, friends, and family. Many people assume that sports are simply about scores and stats: occasionally, they’re about something else. It doesn’t take long, however, to understand the outsized role of athletics in modern-day societies.

Sports have long shaped various forms of identity across the Americas. Upper- and middle-class citizens first embraced organized sports in the late-19th century as “civilizing” tools. Soon, activities like fútbol (soccer), boxing, and béisbol (baseball) became popular with the masses. In HIS 3310, we will discover how sports (re)defined gender, class, race, and national identity from Canada to the Southern Cone, and US-Latin America relations.

Sports & the Making of the Americas

  • Instructor: Dr. Rwany Sibaja, Assoc. Professor of History
  • Room: Anne Belk 240
  • Time: Tuesdays / Thursdays 9:30am-10:45am

Primary objective

Trace how multiple forms of identity developed and changed over time across the Americas through a historical study of sports

Specific objectives

  1. Show how forms of identity intersected via sports through an analysis of primary and secondary sources
  2. Think as historians by charting change over time and analyzing sports within a larger historical context
  3. Identify ways sports affected other forms of mass culture (cinema, music), politics, and social movements … and vice versa
  4. Generate new perspectives on the complexity and diversity of the Americas, as well as trace similarities across the hemisphere

Pedagogical goals & Practices

This course aligns with the ASU Dept. of History’s goals and practices for 3000-level courses:

  • Identification, analysis, and use of primary and secondary sources
  • Written prospectus
  • Outline
  • Rough draft (and revisions)
  • Historical Narrative
  • Oral history
  • Chicago Manual style documentation
  • Historiographical essays
  • Annotated bibliography
  • Oral presentations
  • Reading and writing book reviews
  • Identification & comparison of multiple interpretations
  • Introduction to theory
  • Use of interdisciplinary methods

SYLLABUS – Spring 2023