Athletics' Spectacle & Spirit

Full Course Title: 
Athletics’ Spectacle and Spirit Infusion into Democracy, Equity, and Activism: From Athens to Appalachian
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
Section 198: TR 6:00-9:15 pm
Fall 2018
Global Issues
Undergraduate Research

How did the Greeks develop their ideals of democracy through support of sporting events? What types of protest at athletic events should a democratic society allow? Does public discourse stop at the venue gate? What power lies in controlling athletics and what power does athletics have (internationally, nationally, locally, on our campus)? What do the images of athletes create, define, or give value to for observers on subjects such as sexuality, gender, race, socio-economic status, and heroism? What if Tommie Smith and John Carlos never raised their fists in 1968 or if Jesse Owens never even went to the Olympics out of fear of German retribution? What if Amy Wambach or Lianne Sanderson never expressed whom they love? This course seeks to unmask and demystify the animus, power, and responsibility of athletics through team-based cultural, aesthetic, and historical critical analysis. This course aims to foster students’ evolution in their understandings of the multicultural influences surrounding athletics, awaken them to how activism can work to support democracy and equity, develop sound college-level research and reporting techniques, and inspire their striving for a deeper globalized view of history in action. 


Clifford Poole is an academic advisor with Academic Services for Student-Athletes, an adjunct instructor in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies and a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at ASU. In a career spanning over eighteen years in instruction, academic/student services, grant-writing, and research, he has served as a student services coordinator, counselor, academic advisor, Freshman Learning Community instructor, researcher, lead grant writer/consultant, and is an ordained minister. He has presented keynote addresses and sessions both regionally and nationally for NACADA, NCAA, Presbyterian Church USA, The Links, Inc., and the Kellogg Institute on topics ranging from advising and mentoring student- athletes to arts mediation in healthcare. He has been presented numerous service awards for his work with under-represented student populations and international development. His educational background includes degrees and instruction from UNC-Chapel Hill, Appalachian State University, Georgia Tech, and Emory University.


Photo from ASA – Student Learning Center website

Poole, Cliff 2018

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey

QEP Global Learning