The Cultural Politics of Post-9/11 American Sport Power, Pedagogy and the Popular
Much of the writing on the post-9/11 period in the United States has focused on the role of "official" Government rhetoric about 9/11. Those who have focused on the news media have suggested that they played a key role in (re)defining the nation, allowing the citizenry to come to terms with 9/11, in providing ‘official’ understandings and interpretations of the event, and setting the terms for a geo-political-military response (the war on terror). However, strikingly absent from post-9/11 writing has been discussion on the role of sport in this moment. This text provides the first, book-length account, of the ways in which the sport media, in conjunction with a number of interested parties – sporting, state, corporate, philanthropic and military – operated with a seeming collective affinity to conjure up nation, to define nation and its citizenry, and, to demonize others. Through analysis of a variety of cultural products – film, children’s baseball, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, reality television – the book reveals how, in the post-9/11 moment, the sporting popular operated as a powerful and highly visible pedagogic weapon in the armory of the Bush Administration, operating to define ways of being American and thus occlude other ways of being.
1. Pedagogy, Culture & Politics: The Post-9/11 Sporting Nation 2. Localized Sporting Spectacle: Hope, Heroes & Homeland 3. Militarized Sporting Spectacle: The Post-9/11 Patriarchal Body Politic 4. Physical (Bio-)Pedagogies of the Self: The Valorized Neoliberal Corpus & the Post-9/11 Pariah 5. The (Magical) Perversity of Public Pedagogy: The Miracle of Mice, Men & Boys 6. Empire Games: Neo-Imperialism & The Axis of Evil 7. Concluding Comments: The Post-9/11 Sporting Popular – Pedagogy, Culture, Politics. Postscript
"In this deeply original book, Michael Silk moves forward the crucial debates around America’s role in the world and all that goes into it – American self-image and distortion, mainstream media implication in unexamined power, popular representations that at once obscure real issues and confirm simplistic misrepresentations, the place of sports in national and international life, the exploitations of post-9/11 fears, and so much more. As a hyphenated American and exceptional scholar, Silk is ideally positioned to help us all see where post- 9/11 America has been going and what that might mean for us all."
- Michael Real, School of Communication and Culture, Royal Roads University