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S2 Ep8: The Wide World of Sports & the Humanities

How do college sports affect, and reflect, American culture and society? In this episode we discuss the evolution of college athletics and how sports can help us understand larger issues in American society.

About our guest:

Dr. Amy Carreiro’s research interests and publications include United States cultural history with an emphasis on the African American experience. She has taught courses on the History of American Sport, Sport and Film, and the Globalization of American Sports. Dr. Carreiro served as the Oklahoma Humanities State Scholar for the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition about sports called Hometown Teams, from 2013 to 2016. Dr. Carreiro received her Ph.D. in history from Oklahoma State University in 1997. She taught at the University of Tulsa from 1998-2008 and at OSU from 2008 to 2018. She is presently semi-retired and living in her home state of Rhode Island.

Dr. Carreiro has suggested some sources for further research on the history of college sports:

Martin, Charles. Benching Jim Crow: The Rise and Fall of the Color Line in Southern College Sports, 1890-1980, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 2010.

Smith, Ronald A. Pay for Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic Reform, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011.
Anderson, Lars. Carlisle vs. the Army: Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower, Pop Warner and the Forgotten Story of Football’s Greatest Battle, New York: Random House, 2008.

Hill, Brin. Rites of Autumn: The Story of College Football., DVD. Produced by Don Sperling and Wayne Chesler. Santa Monica, Lions Gate Films, 2001.


Links to additional information about topics discussed in this episode:

Read Dr. Carreiro's article Equal Access to Hometown Teams: Hurdling Race and Gender Barriers in Oklahoma Sports, on page 28 of our Oklahoma Humanities magazine Winter 2015 issue.

Explore "one of the most significant moments in the history of race relations in Oklahoma," when Prentice Gautt became the first African American to play football for OU. Andrew McGregor's piece, Becoming a Sooner: Prentice Gautt and the Integration of Oklahoma Football, looks at the relationship between race and sports at the University of Oklahoma in the 1950s.

Read about the history behind the debate over paying college athletes. This Aspen Institute Sports and Society discussion explores the implications of NCAA athletes being paid by outside entities for the use of their names, images, and likenesses.

Evaluate the United States Department of Justice's official 2012 report on the history and impact of Title IX, the 1972 Congressional action banning gender discrimination in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding, including college sports programs.