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Batter Up! Baseball in American Culture, July 13-18, 2014

Joe DiMaggio PhotoThe Idaho Humanities Council's week-long summer teacher institute, titled “Batter Up! Baseball in American Culture,” is scheduled for July 13-18, 2014, at the College of Idaho in Caldwell.  Successful applicants will receive lodging and meals, texts, and the opportunity for optional college credit.

Supported by the IHC’s Endowment for Humanities Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the interdisciplinary teacher institute will explore the history of baseball and the many facets of the game that make it our National Pastime.  Baseball is woven into the fabric of American culture and history.  It has been with us since before the American Civil War and has mirrored the essential qualities of what it means to be an American.  It is a sport rich in nostalgia and myth: American literature, music, theater, and film have all explored baseball and its main themes, while our language is ripe with “baseball-isms.”  There is hardly a place in our culture that baseball hasn’t touched. 

The major issues impacting all sports culture will be explored through the lens of the sport of baseball, such as the impact on popular imagination, cultural mythology, the business of the sport, controversial laws and labor issues, gender, race and discrimination, stars and icons, cathedrals of the sport, and the future of the game.

The primary text for the series is Baseball: A Literary Anthology, edited by Nicholas Dawidoff, with additional selected readings.

Presenting scholars so far include Robert Santelli, prolific author and journalist, executive director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, and curator of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition Hometown Teams (which tours Idaho in 2014); David Adler, director of Boise State University’s Andrus Center for Public Policy, Constitution scholar, longtime IHC institute scholar, and one-time sportswriter; Kevin Marsh, Idaho State University history professor, department chair, and Idaho Hometown Teams exhibition scholar; Katherine Aiken, University of Idaho Provost, professor of history and popular culture, and others.  

In addition to attending daily lectures and panel discussions, participants will attend special evening keynote presentations, view documentaries and Hollywood films, explore art and music, and share ways of teaching the humanities through the lens of sports.   

The online application deadline has passed.  For more information contact the Idaho Humanities Council at (208) 345-5346, or

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