Teaching African Sports

A small, but growing, group of scholars has been struggling, though increasingly successfully, for some time to legitimize the study of sports in the academy.  Yet, even if research on sports-related topics has gained traction in the academy

Todd Cleveland

Todd Cleveland
Workshop Coordinator

and publishers have been increasingly receptive, introducing this work into the classroom remains a significant challenge.  Indeed, although numerous scholars currently conduct research on an array of sports topics, there are far fewer who offer sports-themed classes at their respective institutions.  And even fewer that focus on Africa.  Although there exist a growing number of sports-themed classes that include Africa, including all manner of “World Football” courses, these typically offer minimal or peripheral coverage of Africa.  Towards more fully incorporating African sports in the classroom, the organizers of the upcoming “Sports Africa” conference, to be held April 10-13 at the University of the Free State, in Bloemfontein, South Africa, have organized a workshop that aims to explore the various ways that sports in Africa are employed in the classroom – either as standalone classes or as part of broader, more topically-varied courses – the pedagogical strategies and approaches that instructors are employing, and challenges to further incorporation.  As an outgrowth of these efforts, the workshop also seeks to examine how we can engage our students in meaningful research endeavors on topics related to sports in Africa.   The workshop will provide a forum in which scholars who are actively teaching African Sports in the classroom can exchange ideas, approaches, and experiences.  To maximize this session, participants will be encouraged to pre-circulate relevant syllabi as well as (brief) pedagogical essays based on their experiences, with the workshop providing an opportunity for fruitful, face-to-face exchange flowing out of these pieces, with the ultimate aim of growing the presence of African Sports in the classroom.

 Please contact Todd Cleveland, at: for questions and inquiries.

Gendered Sport Africa

Martha Saavedra (Center for African Studies, University of California, Berkeley, USA)
Michelle Sikes (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
Marie Biermann (German Sports University, Germany)
Mari Engh (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa); Cheryl Potgieter (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa