Amy Bass, PhD

Professor, Sport Studies
Amy Bass, PhD

School of Arts and Sciences, Purchase, NY

Biography

Amy Bass is a professor in the Sport Studies Department, where her interests focus on sport, culture, and politics. She received a Ph.D. with distinction in history with a comparative in cultural studies from Stony Brook University, and did her undergraduate work at Bates College. Her first book, Not the Triumph but the Struggle: the 1968 Olympic Games and the Making of the Black Athlete, is considered a standard-bearer for those interested in studying sport from a cultural perspective. Her followup, In the Game, solidified that reputation. Her third book, Those About Him Remained Silent: the Battle over W.E.B. Du Bois, received Honorable Mention from the National Council on Public History.

Her most recent work, ONE GOAL: A Coach, A Team, and the Game that brought a Divided Town Together, was named a best book of 2018 by the Boston Globe and Library Journal, and was featured on the Today Show, NPR's "The Takeaway," Midday," "Under the Radar," and "Only a Game," and in Sports Illustrated and ESPN's The Undefeated, as well as other national media. It has been optioned by Netflix. In its starred review of the book, Kirkus called ONE GOAL "an edifying and adrenaline-charged tale," while the Wall Street Journal declared it "the perfect parable for our time," and the Globe & Mail dubbed it "magnificent and significant."

Bass edits her own series, "Sporting," for Temple University Press. In mainstream media, she has written for Slate, Salon, and The Christian Century, and is a frequent contributor for CNN, both in print and in studio, and worked across eight Olympic Games for NBC Sports, winning an Emmy Award for Live Event Turnaround at the London Olympic Games.

Areas of Expertise

Identity Politics

Racial Politics

Politics

Sports

Culture

Return of sports after quarantine

African American History and Culture

Accomplishments
ONE GOAL, “Best Book” of 2018

2018

Boston Globe

ONE GOAL, “Best Book” of 2018

2018

Library Journal

National Endowment for the Humanities, Faculty Development Grant

2005-2006, 2009-2010, 2013- 2016

The College of New Rochelle

Learning Associate

2014

Bates College

Emmy Award

2013

"Outstanding Live Event Turnaround: Games of the XXX Olympiad," National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences

Education
Stony Brook University

1999

Ph.D., History

Stony Brook University

1994

M.A., History

Bates College

1992

B.A., History

Affiliations
  • Board of Directors, New Rochelle Public Library Foundation
  • Consultant, Netflix
Selected Media Appearances
The surreal world of sports in 2020

CNN

2020-12-10

Early this year, the death of Kobe Bryant, a complicated hero, seemed likely to dominate the end-of-year sports headlines. Now that moment, and the outpouring of national emotion that followed it, almost feels like another lifetime.

View more

51% #1637: Bending Toward Change And Community

WAMC

2020-12-09

On this week’s 51%, a woman tells her story about being thrown off track and embracing the change and community she gains; a sports studies professor discusses Major League Baseball’s first female general manager and older women beware the chair — a new study shows the harmful effect of sitting for long periods of time.

View more

New Marlins GM Kim Ng is blazing a trail. Make sure many others follow

CNN

2020-11-13

As baseball legend has it, in 1950, 13-year-old Kathryn "Tubby" Johnston asked her mother to cut her hair so she could don the uniform of the King's Dairy Little League team and play ball. After playing several games as a boy, by mid-season she let her coach and teammates know about her secret, but her prowess kept her safe at first base despite the jeers from opposing players and their parents.

View more

Communicating Risks to Foster Compliance

Inside Higher Ed

2020-07-28

Some institutions have turned informing students about the novel coronavirus into an educational opportunity. At Manhattanville College, a private institution in New York, first-year students are being offered a free summer course for credit about COVID-19. Amy Bass, professor of sport studies at the college, helped design the course, which grew from a multidisciplinary research group she participated in pre-COVID-19. Just under 100 incoming first-year students are registered for the course, said Bass.

View more

Selected Event Appearances
City Divided, Team United

Key West Literary Seminar, January 2020

Key West, FL

A Practical Guide to Writing about Place

134th Annual Meeting of American Historical Association, January 2020

New York, NY

Women and Coaching

In Conversation with Kim Wyant and Courtney Levensohn, Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University, May 2019

New York, NY

Race and the Black Freedom Struggle in Sport

Critical Sports Communities: New Directions in Sports Scholarship, Journalism, and Activism, Hofstra University, February 2019

Hempstead, NY

Keynote Presentation

Baltimore Writers’ Conference, November 2018

Baltimore, MD

Selected Articles
State of the Field: Sports History and the “Cultural Turn”

Journal of American History

Amy Bass

2014

At one of the inaugural sessions of the newly minted Sports Studies Caucus at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association (ASA) in 2012, Daniel A. Nathan, author of Saying It's So: A Cultural History of the Black Sox Scandal, stated that “the place of sport in American Studies is radically smaller … and more marginal, than the place of sport in American culture.” Nathan described the isolation of “sports history” while sitting next to the historians John Bloom, Adrian Burgos Jr., and myself, as well as the literature professor and former professional football player Michael Oriard, whose revolutionary Reading Football: How the Popular Press Created an American Spectacle (1993) used a Geertzian analysis to transform the sports page into...

The Last Word on the State of Sports History

Journal of American History

Amy Bass

2014

Susan K. Cahn wants to play fantasy history; I am all in. It is a concept as charming as it is creative, as it issues a call to ranks, a challenge. In the best of competitive spirits, I have had an ongoing list of fantasy history team draft picks in my head since I first read her words. To find my starting lineup, I would need to go no further than the writers of the responses here—a veritable dream team, if I can make good on Daniel A. Nathan's point about “sportuguese.” These scholars demonstrate exactly how to craft worthy history: analyzing and questioning what I did in my state-of-the-field essay and then pushing the themes forward to important, innovative, and necessary places...