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Academic Bulletin Freshman Tutorials - 2010-11 - 10 FT 10

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FT 010-C American Values and American Sports

Professor Thomas Bambrey, Departments of English and Athletics, 9:45 TTh
Most people would have a hard time listing the values Americans live by. They would perhaps have a harder time connecting a list of these values to American high school, collegiate, and professional sports. In this tutorial we will try to do both—define "American Values” as best we can and discuss how these values are embedded in our sports’ cultures.

Our readings and conversations will focus on 1) the complexity of American values, given our nation's rich multiplicity of cultures, races, and religions, etc.); 2) our country's love affair with sports and the ways values reveal themselves in athletics (or do not reveal themselves); 3) how each student's developing or already developed personal values lead him to participate in, be a fan of, appreciate, be curious about, or ignore sports. So, what are the values we live by? How do we acquire them? How do those values differ among peoples and individuals? How do they affect our behavior? How (and why) do sports play such a big role in American society? Do athletes live by the same or a different set of values than the so-called “average" person? Because of the attention, adulation, and perks they sometimes receive, do athletes’ values change? These, and other, questions will occupy our time. Readings for the tutorial will include the following: Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger; The Bleachers, John Grisham; Bang the Drum Slowly, Mark Harris; A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean; Once a Runner, John Parker; Heaven is a Playground, Rick Telander.

Bambrey, Thomas E.
Credits: 1