Category Archives: Rockford College

Call for Abstracts: Sports Studies Symposium

**Deadline for Abstract Submission extended to Feb 9, 2015.**

“Sports Studies: The State of the Art”
4th Annual Rockford University Sports Studies Symposium
Date: April 24, 2015
Rockford University
5050 E. State. St.
Rockford, IL 61108

Along with its general popularity, sport as an object of academic study has been steadily growing for decades across disciplinary boundaries. As such, this year’s Sports Studies Symposium seeks to explore the state of the study of sport.

We invite papers that examine the current state of the study of sport; for example:

  • High-level descriptions of the current methodologies in a specific discipline as it relates to sport;
  • Analyses of the main active questions on which a specific discipline focuses when looking at sport;
  • Discussions of cross-disciplinary research or approaches to the study of sport.
  • Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list; a myriad of approaches are welcome and encouraged.

We invite and encourage contributors from any discipline.

Each presenter should plan on 20 minutes for his or her presentation. There will also be time for Q&A.

Abstract Submission:
Abstract should be 300-500 words. Send via email (as PDF) to sklein_at_rockford_dot_edu.

Deadline: 1/23/2015
Notification of Acceptance: No earlier than 2/13/2015

If you have any questions, please contact Shawn Klein: sklein_at_rockford_dot_edu or Michael Perry: mperry_at_rockford_dot_edu.

PDF: Call for Abstracts


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Sports Ethics Fall 2014

The semester has started up at Rockford University and I am teaching Sports Ethics again. I thought I would post the syllabus for anyone who was interested:

PHI 223 Sports Ethics Fall 2014

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Sports Studies Symposium: Defining Sport

Sports Studies 14 thumbRockford University is hosting the Third Annual Sports Studies Symposium on April 25, 2014 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm CT at the Grace Roper Lounge, Burpee Center. The conference is free to attend and light refreshments will be served.

Panel One

“Burning the Straw Man: the 10,000 hour rule, fitness, and athletics”
– Sean Beckmann, Ph.D. (Rockford University)

“From the Boarders: Skateboarding at the Fringe of Sport”
– Brian Glenney, Ph.D. (Gordon College) and Steve Mull (Gordon College)

“Sport, Seriousness, and Hopscotch Dreams”
– Major Kevin Schieman, M.A. (United States Military Academy)

Panel Two

“Sport in Society: How Athletics Shapes Our World and Consciousness”
– Zachary Draves, (Rockford University Student Contest Winner)

“The Convergence of Mechanization and the Modern Athlete in NASCAR”
– P. Huston Ladner, M.A (University of Hawaii)

“The Modern Literature of Ring Sport: A Cultural Phenomenon and Its Literary Forms”
– Carl Robinson, Ph.D. (Ashford University)

The Sports Studies Symposium is hosted by Rockford University professors Dr. Shawn Klein and Dr. Michael Perry. For more information please visit or contact Dr. Shawn Klein at


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New Course: PHIL 340 Philosophy of Sport

phil of sport-thumb
The Rockford University Philosophy Department is offering a new course this spring: PHIL 340 Philosophy of Sport.

Course Description:

An inquiry into philosophical ideas and issues in sport. Topics and readings will vary, but may include: the nature and definition of sport, the mind-body relationship in sport, the effects of technology on sport, epistemological issues in officiating, and the aesthetics of sport.

The course will be using Heather Reid’s Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport (Elements of Philosophy) as well as supplemental articles from the philosophy of sport literature. The course does carry a pre-requisite of a previous philosophy class. Of course, if you have taken my Sports Ethics class, then you have satisfied this requirement.

The course meets T/TH, 1-2:15 pm. Please contact me if you have any questions about the course.

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The Sports Ethicist Show: 40 Years of the Designated Hitter Rule

The Sports Ethicist Show airs tonight at 6 pm (Central) on Rockford College Radio.

The Designated Hitter Rule in MLB has been in place for 40 years, yet still remains as controversial as ever. Does it remove the need for managerial strategy? Does it add excitement and offense to the game? The Sports Ethicist brings in Rockford College Baseball players, Zachary Wolf and Daryn Streed, as well as Professors Matt Flamm and Mike Perry to discuss the DH rule and its effects on baseball.

Related Links:

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The Sports Ethicist Show: Sports Studies Symposium

The Sports Ethicist Show airs tonight at 6 pm (Central) on Rockford College Radio.

In this episode, The Sports Ethicist sits down with Chad Carlson, John Harney, Trisha Phillips, Aaron Harper, Andrew Koehl, Carl Robinson, and Mike Perry to discuss the themes and ideas raised by the papers given at the symposium on April 19.

Listen Here:

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Sports Studies Symposium: Paper Abstracts

I have posted the abstracts for each paper to be presented at Friday’s Sports Studies Symposium.

The first panel, held from 1 to 2:45pm, focuses on Fandom. (Follow the links to read paper abstracts)

The second panel, held from 3 to 4:45, will focus on fantasy and play. (Follow the links to read paper abstracts)

You can also find the abstracts, and other information, at the Symposium Page:


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The Sports Studies Symposium: Fandom, Fantasy, and Play

Announcing the 2nd annual Rockford College Sports Studies Symposium!
Sports Studies Symposium 2013
Fans play a central role at all levels and within various aspects of sport, so any study of sport would do well to consider their influences in connection to fandom, fantasy, and play. A specific and growing area of fandom, fantasy sports, illustrates a concrete and complex way fans relate to and even affect sport. This year’s symposium seeks to explore and examine these aspects of the relationship between fan and sport.

The first panel, held from 1 to 2:45pm, focuses on Fandom.

  • Chad Carlson, Ph.D., (Eastern Illinois University): What is fan-based sport about anyway? The Popovich-Stern Issue and Normative Implications for Professional Sports;
  • John Harney, Ph.D., (DePaul University): Japanese Baseball Culture at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century: Imperial Game or Adopted Pastime;
  • Trish Phillips, Ph.D., (Mississippi State University): Fandom and Sport: Encouraging Hate.

The second panel, held from 3 to 4:45, will focus on fantasy and play.

  • Aaron Harper, Ph.D. (West Liberty University): Playing with Nietzsche: Play, Nihilism, and Value Creation;
  • Andrew Koehl, Ph.D. (Roberts Wesleyan College): Fantasy Sport and Aristotelian Flourishing;
  • Carl Robinson, Ph.D. (Ashford University): Chasing The American Dream: A Chubby Fan(atic) Recalls His Favorite Professional Wrestlers.

Location: Grace Roper Lounge, Burpee Center, Rockford College, Rockford, IL
Date/Time: April 19, 2013; 1-5pm

Following the symposium, many of the participants will head over to Aviators Stadium to watch Rockford College Baseball take on Maranatha Baptist Bible College.

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The Sports Ethicist Show: The Spectacle of Sport

The Sports Ethicist Show airs tonight at 6 pm (Central) on Rockford College Radio.

ESPN was founded in 1979 and ushered in the era of 24/7 sports coverage. It is hard to argue that this hasn’t had a major effect on sports themselves, but also on the wider culture. Sports are bigger than ever, and in many ways, there has never been a better time to be a sports fan. But are there any downsides? In this episode, Professors Shawn Klein and Matt Flamm discuss the negative and positive consequences of the massive growth of attention on sports.

Listen Here:

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Podcast: Episode One: What is Sport (The Sports Ethicist Show)

The podcast for Episode One: What is Sport? is available for download:

In this episode, Professors Shawn Klein and Mike Perry try to answer the question of what sport is. Everyone agrees that football and baseball are sports, but what about figure skating, cheerleading, competitive eating, or the WWE? How essential is competition or physical abilities to our understanding of sports? Is it even important to know what the definition of sport is? Klein and Perry also discuss the difference between play, games, and sport.

Original Air Date on Rockford College Radio: March 25, 2013.

Listen Here:

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