Culture of Sport in South Africa

For my final project in South African History in the Digital Age, I have decided to develop an online course entitled “The Culture of Sport in South Africa”.  As a result of my experience as a teaching assistant in Professor Alegi’s Culture of Soccer online course in Summer 2013, I realized the power of sport as both a universal language and a powerful icebreaker.  With this in my mind, I want to develop a course on South African history, using sport as the primary prism through which broader historical currents are revealed, allowing for students to draw on their own sporting interests in their study of South Africa.  Tracing the history of sport in South Africa, this course will focus mainly on issues of race, class, and gender associated with South African sporting cultures.

Looking to the model provided by Professor Alegi’s course, this course will be geared toward the expectations of the Integrated Studies in Social Science department, which aims to fulfill the following requirements in conveying knowledge to undergraduates.

The Social Science Integrative Studies core consists of course options designed to:

  1. Assist students in distinguishing their personal assumptions and beliefs from conclusions based upon critical thought and the analytical exploration of human behavioral patterns and trends.

  2. Expand students’ awareness of the ways that enduring and universal social issues and resolutions can be distinguished from those that are the consequence of specific or transient contemporary conditions.

  3. Provide multicultural, international and national perspectives on human behavior that address the particular challenges and opportunities for a multi-racial and multi-ethnic American society.

This course will follow the format of the summer courses which the MSU History Department already offers.  Hosted on WordPress (still under construction), this course will combine traditional academic texts with recorded video lectures.  I will be using Camtasia to record and edit the lecture videos that will comprise the bulk of the site’s content.  Though I will, most likely, not be able to write and record all of the lectures for the course, my goal is to complete at least two weeks of lectures by the time the project is due in April.  For those lectures which I am not able to record, I plan to make outlines of future lectures available on the site.

In addition to the course taking place entirely on a WordPress site, I also hope to develop exercises and assignments which incorporate digital resources (like Imbiza) and social media (like Twitter and Tumblr).   Just as Imbiza has been a work of digital collaboration, I also want to, in building this course, take advantage of all of the great resources available online that will aid me in bring South Africa’s sporting legacy to life.  I plan to consult with professors in the MSU History Department currently teaching online courses, as well as with professors in the department who integrate online assignments into their courses, whether traditional or online.

Work Plan:


  • Build the site’s structure
  • Research secondary literature on sports history in South Africa
  • Begin sketching an outline for the course, including planned readings for each week
  • Consult with professors in the department who are teaching online courses, as well as professors who use social media in their courses


  • Continue planning the readings/assignments for each week
    • Develop rubrics for the planned assignments
  • Outline and write the two lectures for inclusion in the final project


  • Record lectures
  • Edit lectures
  • Finalize the readings/course outline for the final project submission

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