Beyond spectacular touchdowns and walk-off grand slams, sport remains a vital institution for analyzing the ideological/theoretical frameworks of nationalism, diplomacy, economic development, corruption, gender and
race. From Joe Louis's historic fight against Max Schmeling in June 1936 to the role of FIFA's World Cup played in South Africa's structural development, sport should be understood beyond masculine bravado, violence and the joy and agony of competition, but also as a serious vehicle for conceptualizing and analyzing the triumphs and limitations of our society and its complicated history. In what ways does sports reify concepts of race and gender? How is it utilized as a tool of challenging domestic inequalities and/or improving international relations? This course examines sports within the Americas, Western Europe and an African context during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will read key texts in the field of the sport studies that illuminate the significance of sport in shaping culture and politics in our global society.