Research Context & Questions: Ethnic minorities[1] males in higher education are a recent phenomenon. Dating less than half a century ago, and upon adopting a myriad of cultural-nationalist ideologies, ethnic minority students have historically altered the means by which U.S. society conceives the meaning of education and culture. However, despite dominant liberal discourses that views the ascendency of minority bodies in university settings as emblematic of American exceptionalism, might historicizing minority difference via the prism of critical cultural studies provide a more palpable understanding to the means by which neoliberal philosophy has appropriated non-hegemonic conceptions of reality? In other words, is it possible to locate the cultural appropriation of minority student bodies, experiences, and knowledges through the study of university recreational services? Guiding this research hunch is the question: what is the relationship between minority difference, corporate university and the neoliberal marketing/consumption of sports? Have college sports furthered the appropriation of minorities in an effort to bolster the neoliberal university? And if so, does it suggest that student bodies are considered to be corporate intellectual property? What have been the politics of exchange between student activists and student athletes?
For this research project, I will limit my area of study to Black and Latino/Chicano/Hispanic males.

This project seeks to embed critical educational studies, popular cultural studies, sports studies, and political economy. In short, I will be conducting a case-by-case analysis between ethnic minorities, public spaces, and sports entertainment. My methodological framework will [attempt to] provide a critical historiography in the relational positionalities of ethnic minorities and the commodification of their bodies and knowledges. I will conduct discourse analysis of three particular events: 1) San Fernando Valley State College’s 1968 student occupation of the administrators building; 2) Michigan State University’s ‘Fab Five’ 1990’s basketball hype; and 3) Kobe Bryant and the 1996 National Basketball Association draft. By analyzing these three particular historical phenomena, I strive to make evident the evolutionary-representation of students of color in higher education; more significantly, the means by which neoliberal discourse and hegemony have appropriated alternative-potentialities for non-western conceptions of reality.

This research project invokes to further suggest that minority students (ethno-racial) in higher education spaces have been appropriated; specifically, I would like to evidence the claim that within the neoliberal experiment’s marketing of sports, minority students are conceived of to be of a particular kind of intellectual property. While the first half of this research will critically analyze the socio-cultural dimensions of university difference appropriation, the second half of the research project will research how sports have been used as a tool for socio-cultural advancement of minority politics.

Literature Review:
In-class text:
-       Boyle, James, Shamans, Software and Spleens (2003).
            o   Pertaining to intellectual property changes in law within higher education
-       Coleman, Gabriella, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking (2013).
            o   Neoliberal and liberal discourses/analysis and the means by which political ruptures can occur                      within these very frameworks.
-       Coombe, Rosemary J., The Cultural Life of Intellectual Properties (2001).
            o   Appropriation of sports mascots
            o   Consumption of “the other”
Supplementary text (tentative):
-       Bloom, John and Michael Nevin Willard ed., Sports matters: race, recreation, and culture (2002).
-       Ferguson, Roderick A., The Reorder of Things: The University and its pedagogies of minority difference          (2012).
-       Jay, Kathryn, More than just a game: sports in American life since 1945 (2004)
-       Shapiro, Harold T., A larger sense of purpose: Higher education and society (2005).
-       Sperber, Murray A., Beer and circus: how big-time college sports is crippling undergraduate education         (2000)

Okay y’all, so this is where my train of thought has taken me thus far. I’d really like to follow like Coombe and Coleman that despite pervasive structures of exploitation, political resistance occurs. I am hoping to play around with theories of utopia, as well as Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of rhizome. All feedback is very much appreciated. Please and thank you.
Kim Christen
2/9/2013 08:20:13 am

Good start and lots to work with here.

1, I think Tsing will be helpful for you too and in a way Deloria as well.

2. You will need to unpack your frame for "neoliberalism" --it's a stand in for a host of polices, projects and prescriptive and normative behaviors and you will need to be clear what you are signaling--don't let it stand in for what exactly you are examining.

3. You will need to historicize carefully and then link these events--this is doable but can be tricky--why these three? why not others? what about more contemporary? what about local here at WSU? You need a why for your three case studies and then a link and or bridge.

4.I like the IP angle, I think this is very useful and to my mind an innovative approach. Push this as far as you can by looking at--closely--contracts, speech by university's about players bodies, perhaps how they are conceived in relation to academic knowledge and the consumption and ownership of that knowledge (but here bodies...). I think Coombe will be very useful here.

Rachel Sauerbier
2/10/2013 07:46:03 am

Jorge, I think this is such a timely and important topic, especially since we find ourselves at an NCAA Div-I school right now. You start to hit on this a little bit in throughout your proposal, but I was wondering whether or not you were going to address the growing call for student athletes to be paid for their talents, and overall what your thought is about "pay for play." I think the whole notion of student athletes not being paid is interesting because on one hand the argument is that the students are being paid, with their education taking the place of monetary compensation, but on the other hand, the amount of money the universities often make off of "star" players is above and beyond anything they pay their athletes with in eduction (supposedly). This seems to apply more often to racially minoritized athletes, where the pressure seems to be "go pro or go home." This might be a completely different direction than what you are looking at for your paper, but I think it could be an interesting side mention. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

2/10/2013 08:04:18 am

Hiya Jorge,

This project makes me think of all the intense debate all through my career at U of Oregon. Since I came in the same year that they brought in Chip Kelly, UO's football presence seemed to skyrocket, as did the "stardom" of several of the players, not to mention the discussions of crime amongst some of those same players. The constant debating involved, among other things, the "worth" of the players vs. regular students, which led to protest writings against the new center for student athletes, the John E Jaqua Center (http://www.goducks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=500&ATCLID=205015255).

If I had a question for your project, I guess I would ask whether you were considering looking at cases newer than 1996? To echo Rachel's comment, UO also had a lot of discussion about how student athletes should be compensated (or if they should be) for playing, beyond the tuition waivers that many of them get. I believe at this point there's a prohibition against athletes receiving monetary funds for advertising or somesuch. I'm not sure about the particulars, but the fact that these discussions are ongoing and evolving makes a good case for diving into this in a contemporary way.

2/10/2013 12:42:52 pm

Hi Jorge,

Your focus on student bodies as corporate intellectual property and the "politics of exchange between student activists and student athletes" is intriguing. It seems like you have an excellent project here.

What sorts of texts will you use for your discourse analysis of the three events? If you do choose to add a more recent event to your list, you might be able to go out and conduct interviews.

2/12/2013 02:30:15 am

Hi Jorge,

Your project is great and I am really looking forward to hear more about it. In my discourse analysis class last semester we talked a lot about this issue. Look up the book called Reconstructing Policy in Higher Education, edited by Allan, Iverson and Huilman. It has few articles similar to your project.

Lizeth Gutierrez
2/12/2013 05:31:06 am

Jorge this sounds like a great project! Similar to Kim's third point, I was left wondering why you chose to specifically look at those three events, and I also wanted to know how these three events will play out in your two-part argument. What kind of archives will you be looking at when thinking about how these three events inform your analysis of minority student appropriation in higher educational spaces. Good luck!

2/13/2013 06:39:10 am

WSU athletics provides many if not most of the black students that attend this mostly white school. Are they more than window dressing for quota? Do they feel at home here?


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