Monthly Archives: July 2015

Reflections on my “Teaching The Black Athlete” series

The Paseo YMCA, KCMO where the Negro League was formed in 1920.

The Paseo YMCA, KCMO where the Negro League was formed in 1920.

The final part of my summer series of designing my African-American Studies course “The Black Athlete” for this fall is up at the Sports in American History blog. The post talks mostly about my philosophy and strategy in creating assignments. They’re not necessarily unique to a sports history course. I don’t include the syllabus in this series, though I plan on sharing it on “Teaching” section of this blog once it’s finalized. If you’re curious about how things go, this winter I’ll probably write some sort of postmortem (also on this blog) to see how well things worked in the course.

The teaching series didn’t quite turn out as I hoped. While it definitely helped me with my course prep, I felt like I was either too vague or too specific when writing about it. Being a relatively inexperienced teacher, I felt kind of reluctant, under-qualified, and vulnerable putting ideas out there that haven’t all been tested. It’s really hard to write about your choices and goals without being too specific or knowing if they’re truly the best approach. In the end, I wanted to share my process and approach to start a conversation and get people thinking. Perhaps it is all that time I spent in the Ed. School as an undergrad, but I believe that reflecting on our choices is important. So as the series ends, I hope everyone who’s read the posts has at least found it thought-provoking and maybe a tiny bit useful. Thank you to everyone who has commented and shared their advice. I’ve really enjoyed the conversations; hopefully they continue.


Teaching “The Black Athlete”: Part I Choosing Course Materials

Teaching “The Black Athlete”: Part 2 Organizing the Course

Teaching “The Black Athlete”: Part 3 Designing Assignments

AAS 371 The Black Athlete Syllabus

Featured Image -- 1356

The Kansas City Royals and Baseball’s “Unwritten Rules”

It’s impossible to totally escape my bias, but in my latest blog post for Sport in American History I tried to interrogate narratives surrounding the Kansas City Royals from the playoffs to the All-Star game to highlight the many contradictions and embedded cultural values within baseball’s “unwritten rules.”

Sport in American History

This is the first of two posts on Baseball’s Unwritten Rules.  The rules entail issues of masculinity and decorum. They’re often contradictory and at times fans, players, and former players in sports media disagree on what they really are. In this series we want to take a closer look at them and try to parse out the values and assumptions are embedded within them. We argue that the very concept of ‘unwritten rules’ reveals coded language that highlight and expose the competing values in regards to race, class, masculinity, and fair play in American culture. Indeed, narratives surrounding the “unwritten rules” are a way to combine nostalgia, history, and sport into a type of cultural pedagogy.

In this post I use narratives surrounding the Kansas City Royals as lens to try to understand what exactly the “unwritten rules” and expose contradictions within them. Then on Thursday, Dain TePoel will interrogate…

View original post 2,621 more words