Basketball and American Culture

On Thursday, November 29th the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center will be hosting a symposium entitled Basketball and American Culture from 1-4:30 P.M. in the Etta Harbin Alumni Center Ballroom.  The keynote speaker for the symposium will be Rhodes Scholar, Hall of Fame NBA player, and former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley.  Senator Bradley will speak about his basketball career at Princeton and in the NBA in a lecture entitled “Values of the Game” from 1-2:00 P.M.

Following a short break for refreshments there will be three additional speakers.  Each will speak for 30 minutes followed by a 15 minute Q & A session.

2:15-3:00:  Daniel A. Nathan, Ph.D.  (American Studies, Skidmore College, New York) is the  North American Society for Sport History book award winner for his cultural study of the Black Sox scandal called  Saying It’s So.  Dr. Nathan is the president-elect of the North American Society for Sport History and teaches a class on basketball as a window to American culture at Skidmore College.  His lecture is entitled, “From Springfield to San Antonio: A Brief History of Basketball’s Rise as a Global Game.”

3:00-3:45: Reuben A. Buford May, Ph.D.   (Department of Sociology,  Texas A&M University) is the author of Living Through the Hoop High School Basketball, Race and the American Dream, which was selected as the Book of the Year in 2008 by the Association for Humanist Society.   Dr. May’s lecture is entitled, “Did Naismith Know?  Basketball and the American Dream.”

3:45-4:30:  Professor Madeleine Blais  (School of Journalism, University of Massachusetts at Amherst) is the author of the highly acclaimed book on women’s high school basketball, In These Girls Hope is a Muscle.  Blais worked as a journalist for many years and won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1980.  Professor Blais’s lecture is entitled “Playing for Keeps: What Happens in the Post Season Called the Rest of Your Life?”

The symposium is part of the campus-wide celebration of “The Naismith Rules of Basket Ball,” which includes the display of James Naismith’s original rules for the game as well as  artwork by Paul Pfeiffer at the Blanton Museum of Art, and a photography exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center entitled “Basketball: Power in Play.”  The exhibition at the Blanton will be open until January 13, 2013;  The HRC exhibition will close on December 9, 2012.