Women’s sports and female athletes have never been more visible. As we prepare for the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the law banning sex discrimination broadly in education, it is worth looking back to see how women’s sports have evolved differently from men’s and the ways in which media have failed to cover the compelling stories of athletes today. This seminar will introduce topics in women’s sports, women in media, and the media of women’s sports, as well as providing an introduction to social theory and critical approaches to society and culture. Students will read scholarly texts on these subjects, discuss issues both in seminar and with guest speakers, and will interview women currently working in sports media to produce podcasts on the subject.
“Why is an old white guy teaching a seminar on women’s sports?” is a perfectly valid question. I cannot possibly convey the lived experiences of women in sports and media, and intend to engage a wide variety of guest speakers to do so. What I can provide is the history, literature, and experience in the profession to provide students the context to understand the issues facing women and organizations in this space. I wrote a well-regarded book on Title IX (A Place on the Team, Princeton University Press) and covered issues in women’s sports for a decade as a journalist before becoming the associate director of the Carmical Sports Media Institute here.
- The course will meet twice a week for seven weeks for one hour per class session.
- Students will have weekly readings and online reaction and discussions.
- Students will conduct interviews (in groups) of female professionals in sports media via Zoom and write reflections on those interviews.
- Students will develop proposals for panel discussions on women, sports, and media at a symposium being organized for the spring.
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