Spring 2023

A/P/A Sports

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-208

Moodle site: Course


Robert T. Hayashi (Section 01)


Asians and Pacific Islanders are increasingly visible in the realm of American competitive sports. These athletes are often noteworthy to Americans because they seem anomalous. In this course, we will consider the histories from which these athletes emerge, of sports diffusion across the Pacific Zone, to enrich understanding of the larger history of American sports and API history and identity. A robust transnational flow of athletes and communities across the Pacific dates to the late nineteenth century and includes Hawaiian surfers and swimmers, Chinese collegiate soccer players, as well as current professional athletes like Shohei Ohtani. We will study how American government agencies, military, religious institutions, and educators deployed sport to promote their agendas across the Pacific and the ways sports connected cultures, including those of Japanese schools, Hawaiian beaches, Philippine YMCAs, and elite American colleges like Amherst. We will explore this larger history from an interdisciplinary and transnational frame through discussion and analysis of writings in history, sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, literature, and in documentary film.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Hayashi.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to American Studies majors and students with prior coursework in sports studies/APA studies.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: class discussions, small group work, short written assignments, independent research and oral presentations.


2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023