Sports and Social Justice

‌Lecture Series Description: In this series, we'll be investigating the literature of sport and social justice. Through sports we have a way to look at the values of America: the best we have to offer...and sometimes, unfortunately, the worst. Whatever the case, sports create high drama...and lofty literature. We will seek to consider sport not as an apolitical pastime, but as a complex and fraught landscape where the issues and problems that our country grapples with are present in numerous and fascinating ways.

Lecture Series Information: Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m., starting April 5, 2018, O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium, University of St. Thomas St. Paul Campus

Lecture Series Educators

  • Liz Wilkinson is an associate professor of Native American Literature, with specializations in Women's Literature and Sports Literature. She teachers coursed entitled Women, Sport, and the Body, The Literature of the Olympic Games, and Indians in Unexpected Places in which these three seemingly diverse subject matters interestingly intersect. She has taught at the University of St. Thomas for nine years.
  • Todd Lawrence teachers African-American literature and culture, folklore studies, and American cultural studies in the Department of English at the University of St. Thomas. His research areas include the Black Arts Movement, James Baldwin, African-American genre fiction, speculative black literature, racial passing, theories of blackness, folklore studies, and ethnographic writing. He has taught at the University of St. Thomas for fifteen years.

Fee for the series:  $45 per person

To register on-line with a credit card on our secure page, click on this link:

To print out a form to complete and then mail in with a check or cash payment, click on this link: ‌Winter-Spring 2018 Registration Form

Link to campus mapSt. Paul Campus Map

Detailed Lecture Series Syllabus:

Apr. 5

Sports and the Women's Movement

How competitive swimming, cycling, basketball, and track led to clothing reform and increased autonomy for women...and what to do about "bicycle face."

Apr. 12

Sports, Social Justice, and the Olympic Games

From Melopmene to Tommie Smith, John Carlos, and Peter Norman to Joan Benoit and beyond - athletes that pressed for reform on and off the playing fields.

Apr. 19

Sports and the Politics of the Blackness

From Jack Johnson to Jackie Robinson to Muhammad Ali to Serena Williams - how do perceptions of blackness and the black body impact the black athlete in the sports arena?