During the summer I will be taking 16 students to Leeds, England for a study abroad course to learn about English identity through the prism of sports. This course, called “Sport and English Society,” is organized by the Study Abroad Office at UT Austin and will run from May 28 through June 25, 2011.
We will be staying in Leeds, a diverse metropolis known for its culture and sporting teams. Given this unique location, we will be exploring the internal divisions around class and region that are central to understanding English identity, particularly the tensions between “the north” and “the south,” as well as discovering the origins of sports such as American football and baseball.
In Leeds we will visit Headingley Stadium and get to see both the Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the Leeds Rhinos in action. We will also have field trips to Manchester to visit Old Trafford, home of Manchester United Football Club and Sportcity, where a number of England’s elite athletes from a range of sports are currently in training for the 2012 London summer Olympic games. And we will also be traveling to the historic Lord’s cricket ground in London.
On this site you can read the latest blogs from a number of the students in the course. So please meet our “Leeds bloggers,” click on their profile to find out more about them, and follow our summer experiences in Leeds and England!
Professor Ben Carrington
Ben Carrington has published widely on race, sports and culture, including topics such as nationalism, masculinity, the politics of race and sport policy, and blackness and celebrity sports culture. He is the author of “Race, Sport and Politics.” For more about his work, read his Q&A in Theory, Culture & Society, a major international sociology journal.