Spring 2013 Course: Baseball and American Culture

A newer iteration of the course I taught last year on Baseball and American Culture. Whereas last year’s course was focused on baseball literature and history as well as contemporary sportswriting, this year we are focusing more the literature and the history. My hope is still to use baseball as a means of understanding America’s problematic relationship with intellectuals and science, but I am trying to avoid letting the class turn into an exercise in statistical analysis. For example, we will start the class on the first day by discussing the nature of the 2012 MVP debate, but I do not want to address who should have won by parsing stats and making claims about whether Mike Trout was better than Miguel Cabrera or vice versa. Rather, I want to discuss how people were making those arguments and what assumptions support them. There is little or nothing this class can add to the debate–and nothing it can do to change the outcome of the vote. What it can do is try to understand the terms of the debate and how such arguments come into existence.

So, here are the materials, should you be interested:

ENGL 3246: Topics in Popular Culture: Baseball and American Culture Syllabus

ENGL 3246: Topics in Popular Culture: Baseball and American Culture Daily Schedule

ENGL 3246: Topics in Popular Culture: Baseball and American Culture Text List

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