The Course: This course examines the history of sports in America from the colonial period to the 1990s. Topics examined include games, team sports, urbanization, amateurism, professionalism, race, gender, industrialization, media, and many more.
This course is a great deal of fun. It offers insight into how sports have reflected and changed American history and culture. Athletic competition is a monumental component of American life today and has been since the colonial era. My wish is for you to come away from the class with a new appreciation of the role that sports have played in American history.
Office Hours: I will regularly check email. Don’t be shy to send me an email.
Davies, Richard O. Sports in American Life: A History. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. Any edition of this text is fine by me.
The course modules will include documents, articles, films, and audio that will help underscore the major themes under examination. The Davies text is very good at putting the module documents into a broader context. The goal is for the information in the module and the text to complement one another.
I will record a short intro for each module. That should make the course more enjoyable and provide greater context.
Important Tip: Summer School is intensive. There is a great deal of reading and writing. Make sure that you pace yourself and do not fall behind. It is almost impossible to catch-up during the summer session. If you are having trouble in the course, contact me as soon as possible so that I can help you succeed.
Class Discussion: We will utilize the discussion board on Blackboard for this class. I will provide a prompt and students will respond. A response is more than simply saying “I agree” or “yes” or something like that. A response must deal with the material in the class. The discussion board will be graded based upon the quality of your discussion. A student may receive from zero to three points on their final grade dependent upon the quality of the discussions. I will not force you to participate in the discussions, but participation is a very easy way to maximize your grade.
The Papers: The papers will be graded based on content, grammar, and style. I do not use a grading rubric. The grades are established based upon my many years as a professor. Each paper is worth 100 points.
All papers must be double-spaced, typed, and conform to professional English. That means no slang, no contractions, no first-person and the like. Remember, you always want to present your work in a very professional manner. Future employers will look for that.
Each student must complete five papers that draw on the materials in the learning modules. The papers will require you to quote materials in the modules and to craft logical and convincing arguments. The papers will include material from several modules. All assignments must be completed by the due date. I will deduct a letter grade for every 24-hour period the assignment is late. Yes, weekends count!
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is cheating. Do not take ideas or words from any source without giving due credit to where the material was obtained. You are plagiarizing if you copy material from a work and do not offer a footnote, endnote, or some clear citation explaining where you got the information. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. I reserve the right to punish offenders in a fashion that I deem suitable. More details about plagiarism will be presented in class.
Final Grade: The final grade is an average of the five papers. An additional three points will be added to the final grade based upon the quality of participation on the discussion board.