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Fellow's Talk: Joseph Darda on "Owning Le'Veon Bell and Other White Fantasies"
With Response by Sandy Grande.

This talk will take place in the Humanities Institute Conference Room in Homer Babbidge Library. Please register if you wish to attend virtually. The event will be livestreamed with automated captioning.

This talk situates the rise of fantasy sports––a now $20 billion industry––in a post–civil rights, post-feminist moment of retrenchment. Telling the stories of boardgame inventors, early fantasy leagues, moneyball statheads, billion-dollar gambling startups, and the fans who consume it all, Joseph Darda asks whose fantasy we are living when we draft, trade, and cut real-life professional athletes. While some celebrate the rise of fantasy sports and sports analytics as a “revenge of the nerds,” in which unathletic math whizzes stormed the gates of a world dominated by former prom kings, Darda shows how it has functioned as something else: a racial managerial fantasy, a fantasy inviting an audience of mostly white men to imagine themselves not as their favorite athletes but as owners of predominantly Black teams.

Joseph Darda is an associate professor of English and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies at Texas Christian University and the author of three books on the cultural life of race in the United States: The Strange Career of Racial Liberalism (Stanford University Press, 2022), How White Men Won the Culture Wars (University of California Press, 2021), and Empire of Defense (University of Chicago Press, 2019). His current project, “The Naturals: How Sports Make Race in America,” investigates what our most popular culture, sports, has taught us about race since civil rights.

Nov 16, 2022 03:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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