Fall 2024

Asian Pacific American Sports: Clever Headers and Warriors

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-208  |  Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies, as AAPI-208


Robert T. Hayashi (Section 01)


Asians and Pacific Islanders are increasingly visible in the realms of American and global
competitive sports. These athletes, however, represent only the current state of the sports world
and its transnational nature. In this course, we will consider the longer histories from which these
athletes emerge: modern sports’ diffusion across and around the Pacific. A robust transnational
flow of athletes dates to the late nineteenth century and includes Hawaiian surfers and
swimmers, Chinese Ivy-League soccer stars, and barnstorming Asian baseball teams, as well as
more current well-known professional athletes like Shohei Ohtani and Grace Park. Government
agencies, military officials, religious institutions, business leaders, and educators deployed sport
to promote their agendas across the Pacific and connected cultures, including those of Japanese
schools, Hawaiian surf zones, and elite American colleges like Amherst. We will explore this
larger history from an interdisciplinary and transnational frame through discussion and analysis
of primary materials and scholarship in history, sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, and
sports studies that includes the work of international scholars.

Limited to 25 students. Fall 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.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Fall 2024