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SPT 04 — Women in Sports: Breaking Barriers (CANCELLED)

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 31—Mar 21
Time: 7:00—8:50  pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 13
Unit: 1
Tuition: $400
Instructor(s): Bonnie J. Morris
Status: Cancelled
7:00—8:50  pm
Jan 31—Mar 21
8 weeks
Drop By
Feb 13
1 Unit
Bonnie J. Morris
This course examines the history of American women athletes and their long battle for equal participation in sports. Although today women are popular figures in Olympic glory, professional tennis, and college sports, many still experience resistance in terms of equal pay and the right to play. How far have women come as athletes, coaches, trainers, umpires, sports journalists, and announcers? Which biases—cultural, medical, sexual, racial—did female athletes overcome to gain modern opportunities? Do we still judge strong women on looks, rather than guts, when they set new records and bring home the gold?

The course will proceed from the early years of American sports to the present, examining teams at women’s colleges, the rise of Olympic stars like Babe Didrikson and Wilma Rudolph, and the often hilarious history of “girls’ rules” and uniforms in American schools. We will examine how wartime and racial segregation gave rise to heroines in the All-American Girls Baseball League (depicted in the movie A League of Their Own) and Negro League baseball and track. Then, we will turn to changes introduced by the feminist movement, with films, TV clips, and news features reporting on the progress of women in sports. Along the way, we will analyze biases about masculinity and femininity in everything from sports toys to food marketing. Class materials will spark lively discussion on the challenges facing women in college play and professional sports today, including breakthrough stars like Brittney Griner, Hope Solo, Serena Williams, Lindsey Vonn, Simone Biles, and Caster Semenya.

Bonnie J. Morris, Lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley

Bonnie Morris is the author of Women’s History for Beginners. She has taught women’s sports history at George Washington and Georgetown, and is a consultant to the State Department, Disney, and the Library of Congress. She received a PhD in women’s history from Binghamton University.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Susan Cahn, Coming On Strong, 2nd edition (ISBN 978-0-252-08064-7)
(Required) Sarah K. Fields, Female Gladiators, 1st edition (ISBN 978-0-252-07584-1)