This learning community will introduce students to the academic study of sports, culture, and society, and to the range of disciplines within which sport is studied.

Instructors for the sports learning community are (from left) Tim McCrory, Yago Colás, and Daphne John. Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

Sports, Culture, and Society

Offered fall 2017
Open to first-year students

This learning community will introduce students to the academic study of sports, culture, and society, and to the range of disciplines within which sport is studied. It is an opportunity to reflect on our vibrant academic and athletics campus cultures and the Oberlin community.

• In 13 Ways of Looking at Sports, students will use tools from philosophy, literary and cultural study, sociology, economics, and the sciences to examine sports and its accompanying cultural forms and practices.

• Sport: Contested Contests will help students assess sports critically as a social institution that holds the potential to both reproduce and challenge social inequalities, especially those regarding race and ethnicity, gender, social class, sexualities, and citizenship.

• Sport and Community will explore academic concepts studied in the Sports, Culture, and Society learning community by students participating in a series of service and research in initiatives across campus and in Oberlin Public Schools.

Students will explore a variety of disciplinary methods and perspectives and incorporate an experiential and practical dimension to this examination. By developing activities that bridge athletics and academics in Oberlin, members will be exposed to extra-academic perspectives and explore the validity of scholarly notions in concrete community settings.

In addition, students will gain the invaluable experience of putting their intellectual resources to work at the service of our broader community.

All three of the courses are required for enrollment in the learning community.


Instructors

Professor Yago Colás is professor of English. Daphne John is an associate professor of sociology. Tim McCrory is the associate head men’s basketball coach.

13 Ways of Looking at Sports

Santiago Colás, instructor

ENGL 167: 13 Ways of Looking at Sports
Meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:30-2:20pm, 4 credit hours; enrollment limit 50.

Required course for Sports, Culture, and Community cluster.

Sports is perhaps the most popular pastime around the world today. And the images, metaphors, narratives, and values that spring up around sports weave themselves into the stories we tell about ourselves and our world, even when we don't think we're talking about sports.

In this course, we'll use tools from philosophy, literary and cultural study, sociology, economics, and the sciences to look at sports and its accompanying cultural forms and practices. We'll be looking at what they tell us about how we think about such things as play, beauty, goodness, violence, money, sex, gender, race, and nations.

First Year Seminar Program: Sport: Contested Contests

Daphne John, instructor

First-Year Seminar 054: Sport: Contested Contests 
Meets Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30-10:50am, 4 credit hours; enrollment limit 15.

Required course for Sports, Culture and Community cluster.

Using an interdisciplinary framework, students will learn to assess sport critically as a social institution that holds the potential to both reproduce as well as challenge social inequalities, particularly regarding race and ethnicity, social class, gender, sexualities, and citizenship.

Topics include inclusivity and exclusivity in sport, linkages to sport and economy, the local and global aspects of sport as well as how sport shapes individual, organizational, and state/national identities.

The goals of the course are to understand how individuals and groups interact within sport that can result in reproduction of inequalities or offer spaces for activism and social change.

Sport and Community

Tim McCrory, instructor

SOCI 390: Sport and Community 
Meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9-9:50am, 4 credit hours; enrollment limit 15.

Required course for Sports, Culture, and Community cluster.

This practicum explores academic concepts studied in the Sports, Culture, and Society learning community by students participating in a series of service and research initiatives across campus and in Oberlin Public Schools.

These activities, informed by the academic study of sports as a cultural form and social institution, will examine the role sports already plays in the lives of youth and college students. In particular, activities will support integration of the physical, intellectual, and emotional well-being of the students in the learning community, and in the broader community they will serve.