ENGL 271/3.0 - Special Topics I: Sports, Literature, and the Culture of Sport
Dr. Shannon Smith
Contemporary sport culture is a significant component of our everyday lives, regardless of whether or not one is a 'sports fan'; the stories we as a culture tell about sport, through the media and other cultural forms, shape our understanding of participants, spectators, or resisters. Students in ENGL271 will examine significant texts in the field of 'sports literature' that shape our understanding of the experience of involvement in sport culture, tracing the way in which such texts address thematic concerns such as the representation of the sports fan, the links between sport, racial identity, and nationalism, and the way in which experiences of sport are inflected with assumptions about gender and class identity. At the same time that the course will explore the long-standing association of prose fiction and non-fiction with the sports narrative in literature, it will also challenge the supremacy of these forms in telling stories about sport by placing alongside significant prose works, contemporary plays and poetry that have also played a role in shaping our understanding of contemporary sport culture.