SYLLABUS

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Social History of Sports in the U.S. 
 
This course is entirely on-line, so all information can be obtained through the Blackboard site, or by e-mailing Bill Offutt directly at [email protected] or [email protected]
 
NOTE: Because this course is extremely condensed into 40 days, I will be posting much of the material ahead of when it is due, for students to work through at their own pace; in other words, you can work ahead as you feel like it. There are certain pieces of material, from Unit Two forward, that will be added to both the Course Documents, where the assigned readings are, and Discussion Board, where focused questions and material will guide your responses. The materials will be added in time for use by the various intermediate deadlines. However, there are particular deadlines for completion of the discussion writing on the various units of material as well as the two papers that make up the grade, and students must pay close attention to these deadlines in order to complete the course.
 
Course Goals:
This course will examine the experience of sports and leisure for different groups of Americans (e.g., African-Americans, women, working class), from colonial times to the present but primarily focused on the 20th century. My goal is to introduce students to historical analysis and argument through the examination of the sports and leisure time activities that won increasing popularity among Americans from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century. This course will incorporate analytical categories from social history (class, race, gender, ethnicity) as well as the frameworks used by cultural, economic, and political history. This course will thus involve students in gaining a better understanding of the relationships that sports and leisure have with the social, economic, cultural and political forces at work in the United States and the world. Students will appreciate the issues that have affected sports participation over the years, including racial and gender discrimination, class economics, and commercialization.
 
Students are expected to learn not only the basic data of American social history of sports but also to express that knowledge in oral and written argument that employs evidence to prove historical theses. Precise assignments for discussion are given at the end of this syllabus. Students will also be expected to use the Blackboard site for discussion. This course is thus NOT about player statistics, won-loss records, and/or fantasy leagues. It is about understanding the role sports has played in American society over time, and that is a serious historical inquiry.
 
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
1) Identify and analyze the changing meaning and significance of sports and leisure to American society and culture.
2) Discuss the major developments in sports as they were influenced by major social, economic, cultural and political forces in American history, and (in turn) how sports participated in those social, economic, cultural, and political changes
3) Organize and consolidate material provided in lectures and readings in order to answer essay questions which require comparative analyses, synthetic thinking, and cause/effect linkages.
 
Course Learning Outcomes:abilities in the following areas:
1. Communication: Students will demonstrate the ability to express and argue varied interpretations of historical developments, using primary and secondary sources.
2. Analysis, think clearly and critically. Students will demonstrate ability to state and defend a thesis on a historical issue, employing appropriate evidence, differentiating between primary and secondary sources and evaluating their authorship, point of view or bias, and reliability.
3. Intellectual integration and application, examine, organize and use disciplinary ways of knowing and apply them to specific historic events and issues. Students will write papers using primary and secondary historical sources.
4. Social interactionline means.
5. Valuing, Students will identify, appraise and comprehend the values of various individuals and social groups/societies within the American past.
6. Information literacy and research, demonstrate ability to read critically and accurately a range of materials: history textbooks, historical monographs, literary sources, newspapers and journals, diaries and memoirs, and internet web sites. Employ analytical techniques to evaluate authorship and point of view in these sources. Demonstrate knowledge of political geography and ability to use maps.
 
Reading Assignments: Students will read from the following:
 
Kathryn Jay, More Than Just a Game: Sports in American Life since 1945
Susan Ware, Title IX: A Brief History with Documents
 
The two books should be purchased, and they are available at the Pace Bookstore on each campus or online at http://pace.bncollege.com or through on-line sources such as Amazon.com.
 
Course Structure:
LECTURES (each Blackboard unit has 2):line, or you may print out the lectures and highlight, but you MUST not simply read them. You need to focus on them more than your average textbook, and you MUST be able to integrate the lecture material with the texts in your essays. Discussion Board Forums are set up to expand on or ask questions about the lectures, and those posts will contribute to your discussion grade.
 
ASSIGNMENTS:s discussion on the Discussion Board.
 
2 Essays: You will have a choice of two essay questions; you must answer one in no less than four typewritten, double spaced pages. You will have a week from the distribution of the questions to the date they are due through the Assignments link to Turnitin. The first essay involves a rough draft, a mark-up of a different student’s paper, and then a revision of your own. The dates of distribution of the questions and their due dates appear later in the syllabus. You are encouraged to discuss the questions among yourselves, but all outlines and all writing must be done individually. I am happy to answer any and all questions on these essays by e-mail or through questions posted on the Discussion Board related to the essays.
 
Thoughts on Writing Essays: Remember that there are no right or wrong answers, only good and bad arguments. Your answer should contain a clearly stated position/thesis/overall generalization at the outset, supported by subsequent paragraphs, each of which proves a logically needed element of that thesis (a sub generalization). Within each paragraph, evidence must be produced to convince me that the sub generalization is true, and a good rule of thumb demands THREE pieces of evidence to prove a sub generalization. A good argument will then draw its various pieces, which together should completely cover all aspects of the question, into a conclusion. Obviously, your essay should be planned and outlined before you write.
NOTE:mailed you on each paper.
 
Late Papers:mail before the deadline. PROBLEMS WHICH ARE DISCUSSED BEFORE THE PAPER IS DUE WILL BE TREATED LENIENTLY AND WITHOUT PENALTY. Otherwise, late papers lose 10%.
 
Readings and Discussion:you must post at least 3 times on the Discussion Board for each course unitin the Course Documents section of Blackboard. Each comment is part of the Writing Enhanced aspect of the course, so make sure you write complete sentences and use proper grammar.
 
Do not try to answer all points/issues in a single posting. You should concentrate on one single issue per post on readings, as in you should answer one question or make one point. DO NOT COMBINE MULTIPLE ANSWERS TO MULTIPLE QUESTIONS IN A SINGLE POST. One paragraph per post is a good rule-of-thumb. For the lectures, your responses can be more lengthy, but comment only on one lecture at a time.
 
Scholastic Integrity: Cheating and plagiarism are the most serious offenses in academic life. If they occur, you will lose credit for the work , and your grade will certainly suffer. In addition, the university procedures for handling cases of scholastic dishonesty will be initiated. Essays that have been plagiarized will receive an F. Turnitin makes it easy to identify, so DON'T do it.
 
GRADES: Grades will be apportioned on the following point basis:
Discussion—first 4 50 points (25%)
First essay 50 points (25%)
Discussion—2nd 4 50 points (25%)
Second essay 50 points (25%)
 
NOTE: THE DATE DUE REFERS TO AS OF 11:59pm ON THE DATE LISTED
 
UNIT:    THEMES:                                                          Readings/Discussion                                 Date Due
1            Introduction: self, course, videos                      Articles (on Blackboard)
              Defining sports                                                  Videos                                                          July 12
              Survey of American Sports to 1900                  Lectures

 

2            Baseball to WWII, other mass sports                Jay, Chapter 1                                              July 16

              Collegiate Sports, first half of 20th Cen             Videos, Articles

                                                                                         Lectures

 

3             Race and sports to Jackie Robinson (1947)    Jay, Chapter 2                                               July 20

               Integration of sports, 1940s-1960s                   Videos, Articles

                                                                                         Lectures

ESSAY QUESTION CHOICES AVAILABLE AS OF JULY 21

 

4             Gender and sports to 1970s/before IX              Jay, Chapter 3                                             July 24

               Politics and sports--Olympics to 1972               Article, Park

                                                                                          Lectures

 

ESSAY ASSIGNMENT #1 TO TURNITIN DUE BY 11:59 PM ON MONDAY JULY 28

REVISION EXCERCISE: PAPERS FOR MARK-UP AVAILABLE BY NOON JULY 30

MARKED UP PAPERS SUBMITTED TO TURNITIN BY AUG 2, NOON

 

5             Race and ethnicity, late 20th Century                Jay, Chapter 4                                              Aug 1

                                                                                          Videos, articles   

                                                                                           Lectures

 

6             Gender, Sexual Identity, and Sports,                  Title IX book                                                 Aug 5

               Title IX and beyond                                             Videos, articles

                                                                                            Lectures

FINAL VERSION ESSAY #1 SUBMITTED AUG 5

 

7              College sports, 1960s-now                                Jay, Chapter 5                                              Aug 9

                Sports and politics                                             Articles, lectures, videos

 

ESSAY #2 POSTED, under ASSIGNMENTS, AS OF AUG 7

 

8              Economy of modern sports                               Jay, Chapter 6-7

                                                                                          Videos, articles                                             Aug 13

                                                                                          Lectures

ESSAY ASSIGNMENT #2 DUE BY 11:59 PM ON AUG 15    

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