This course will utilize sources from history, journalism, popular culture, television, art, film, novels, short stories, poems, biography, and autobiography in an attempt to understand the role of the sport of boxing in American society. Issues to be discussed will be gender; ethnicity and race; the rise of sport as both a cultural phenomenon and big business in America; ways in which boxing has been portrayed in American culture (both "high" and "low"); how and why boxing has remained a part of American culture; and boxing as part of the sporting culture of America. Students will be required to participate in intensive class discussions and write several brief papers involving critical analysis of those sources. A brief research paper will also be required. The course will involve a film series and at least two guest speakers- one, a former heavyweight champion of the world and the second, the author of one of the books to be used in the course.