Over the past 30 years Physical Cultural Studies (PCS) (Andrews, 2008) has grown in the United States. This form of radical inquiry has been heavily influenced by the British Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies. PCS research has focused on the various ways the corporeal has been a/effected by, and, indeed, (re)informs the contemporary socioeconomic context. However, while theoretical rigor has long been the norm in American PCS, I argue that the critical (public) pedagogy that radically contextual Cultural Studies has always called for has been a little slower in developing. As such, I will demonstrate how Henry Giroux’s influence in, on, and for critical pedagogy has more recently become and should be an essential component of PCS—particularly in our classrooms. As such, I will provide examples outlining how critical pedagogy informs my classroom practices to begin the dialogue about what constitutes good pedagogical work.
In this project I will trace former Little League Baseball star, Danny Almonte’s, celebrity identity and flexible citizenship with particular regard to the way that he has been used as both an exemplary Dominican immigrant and later a cautionary tale. As such this critical biography of Almonte’s rise and fall in American popular culture—informed by Henry Giroux’s extensive theorizing on youth culture, Ong’s concept of flexible citizenship, and Steven Jackson’s understanding of “twisting”—will critically interrogate the mediated discourses used to describe, define, and make Almonte into a symbol of a (stereo)typical Dominican male. In accordance with contemporaneous hyper-conservative and neoliberal rhetoric pervasive throughout the United States, I posit the notion that Almonte’s contested celebrity was formulated within the popular media as the embodiment of the minority “assault” on white privilege.
Critical interventionist ethnography has recently come into vogue within the Sociology of Sport. More specifically, many in our field believe that merely studying and writing up studies on physical culture is not enough, and that work within the field needs to be more impactful, meaningful, and exact various forms of social justice. As such, in this paper I will discuss how the turn to social justice has had a profound effect on my research agenda. In so doing, I will outline the difficulties and challenges inherent in such a political project by critically reflecting on my first ethnographic research project on the Little League World Series—an admittedly failed attempt at critical intervention. I hope to help foster better and more successful research projects within the field by looking back at some of the key mistakes I made at this site while simultaneously encouraging others to be public pedagogues.
Ryan King-White and Adam Beissel
This project will specifically focus on the symbiotic relationship between the intercollegiate athletics program and corporatization of educational functions and leadership at Towson University as emblematic of the influence that neoliberal corporate capitalism has had on institutions of higher education and its stakeholders. We offer a genealogy of Towson University athletics to interrogate how the athletics program is a byproduct of, and vehicle for, the ascent of commercial imperatives and growing the consumer experience at the corporate university through authoritarian leadership and centralized governance. We conclude by making the argument that the corporate university lacks any real semblance of shared governance and that it has been to the very real detriment of the many stakeholders administrators suggest they are beholden to.