Culture Games: What Do Major Sporting Events Tell Us about Culture and Society over the Past Decade?

Mark Schuster (American Studies; Dean for Graduate Student Life)

Sport is a dynamic core institution in higher education and society.  Although the last decade has shown drastic improvement since Title IX in both college and professional sports, the terrain is still patriarchal and impregnably controlled by (mostly white, heterosexual) men.  The course will critically examine the corporations (NCAA) and media that make profits from college athletics, including the institutions themselves.  There will be particular focus on Division I, the Big 10, and the ethics of how we engage, use, and mentor our student athletes.  Will the academy, rather than economics, be a catalyst in changing the culture of violence and injury on and off the field?  Most importantly, does the excitement, profit and gains of college sports outweigh the collateral damage to student/athlete’s development and the integrity of the institutions that recruit them?