These flyers are for English 297A: Sports / Ethics / Literature, a course I'm teaching this spring here at Penn State. (Knowing the school gives important context for the second flyer.) Full description after the flyers.
flyer 1: Let's Go.
flyer #2, with h/t to Academic Coach Taylor.This one captures the spirit with which this course originated.
flyer #3, aimed at the Paterno Fellows:
Flyer #4, for Schreyer Honors College Scholars, Paterno Fellows, and English Honors (with h/t to the computer setup in SHC's Atherton Hall (photoshop really is better):
And finally, the description as it currently stands:
Sports / Ethics / Literature
There may be no better time for engaging and developing thoughtful approaches to sports and sports culture than now. Sports can tell us a lot about the cultures that promote them. The coach, the athlete, the spectator, and the gamer all stand as figures through which people articulate and test their values and desires. Authors, too, have often turned to sports to comment on the human condition. But far from being timeless or nonspecific, their commentary reveals a good deal about how particular cultures form identities. Novels from previous decades invite readers to think about the historical and political development of gaming culture, dance marathons, or women’s baseball leagues. A novel featuring a philosophical quarterback links football to metaphysics, and a science-fiction story in which skill sets from past NBA legends are distributed to new players by lottery offers potent commentary on race. In short, culture can be read through sports and sports through culture. The readings for this course will encourage students to reflect on social interaction, human behavior, and ethics in the context of organized athletic competition.
During a unit focused on Penn State, students will spend time in the Penn State Sports Archive exploring the institution’s history with regard to sports ranging from Archery to Wrestling.
Students are encouraged to petition for this course to count for General Humanities requirement, or to honors-option the course.
Readings will likely include Don DeLillo’s Endzone, Horace McCoy’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Robert Coover’s The Universal Baseball Association, H. G. Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights, John Edgar Wideman's Hoop Dreams, Barbara Gregorich’s She’s on First, and short stories by Jonathan Lethem, Toni Cade Bombara, Jonathan Franzen, and David Foster Wallace.