Sporting Publics: History, Sports, and American Culture
March 28–29, 2024
This symposium aims to illuminate the ways sports at times facilitates public conversations on past and present societal conditions, whether it is how sports reveal broader issues about culture, identity, or history. The speakers will focus on several questions: How do sports provide a space for publicly engaging in “difficult” conversations about issues affecting U.S. society? In what ways have athletes sought to create such space to engage societal concerns as they impact lives on or away from fields of play? How has the work of historians engaged the public about the ways sports reveal/unveil such broader concerns?
The conference features an opening keynote by David Maraniss (New York Times bestselling author and associate editor at The Washington Post), a lunchtime keynote on Friday by Howard Bryant (sports journalist and author, ESPN), and panels with specialists in the history and culture of sport Theresa Runstedtler (American Studies, American University) and Frank Guridy (History, Columbia University).