TRANSFORMING SPORT IDENTITIES: How Does Sport and the Big 10 Transform Rutgers, Bodies, Research, and The Academy?
Birrell and McDonald define “articulation in sport” as a barometer of our culture and who we are as social beings. In this seminar, we will explore many sports-related questions including: Is the Big 10 reshaping Rutgers or is Rutgers transforming the Big 10? How will this impact Division I and NCAA sports? Will Rutgers change the culture of this predominantly white, Midwest conference that is now part of one of the most diverse institutions in the world with very large neighboring cities? Did the academics that traditionally hated sports suddenly “drink the Kool-Aid”? What are the academic benefits of the CIC (Committee on Institutional Cooperation)? How do television dollars, social media and fans drive elite and professional sports, the Olympics, and our academic lives? Sport MEGAtexts such as violence, injury, bullying, intimidation, sexual assault, steroid and alcohol abuse, playing through pain, and media coverage will be critically examined. Ethical complacency and scandals in intercollegiate, professional, and Olympic competition will be explored and exposed. Using the new field of Critical Sport Studies, the course will deconstruct the financial, cultural, and personal costs to the athlete, society and academia. Ultimately, we will discuss how increasing social acceptance of transforming bodies, identities, sexuality and who we chose to love changes the playing field and the academy.