Spring 2023

Asian Pacific American Sports: Clever Headers and Warriors

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-208


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.

AMST 208 - LEC

Section 01
M 2:00 PM - 3:20 PM CONV 209
W 2:00 PM - 3:20 PM CONV 209

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Sport and the American Occupation of the Philippines: Bats, Balls and Bayonets Lexington Books Gems, Gerald Amherst Books TBD
Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing University of California Press Laderman, Scott Amherst Books TBD
Transpacific Field of Dreams: How Baseball Linked the United States and Japan in Peace and War University of North Carolina Press Guthrie-Shimizu, Sayuri Amherst Books TBD
Outside the Pain: When Basketball Ruled at the Chinese Playground Temple University Yep, Kathleen Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Fall 2024