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 (7)
Return of sports after quarantine
African American History and Culture
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
2014 Bates College
2013 "Outstanding Live Event Turnaround: Games of the XXX Olympiad," National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences
Stony Brook University: Ph.D., History 1999
Stony Brook University: M.A., History 1994
Bates College: B.A., History 1992
- Board of Directors, New Rochelle Public Library Foundation
- Consultant, Netflix
Selected Media Appearances (11)
The surreal world of sports in 2020
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.
51% #1637: Bending Toward Change And Community
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.
New Marlins GM Kim Ng is blazing a trail. Make sure many others follow
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.
Communicating Risks to Foster Compliance
Inside Higher Ed online
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.
OPINION: As the coronavirus drives students apart, one college devises a course to keep them together
The Hechinger Report online
Our last in-person class took place on March 4, a few hours before the campus emptied for what we thought would be Spring Break. The lesson featured two art historians, a microbiologist, a writing specialist, the library director and me, a historian in sports studies. It became clear that we understood the rapidly unfolding scenario of the coronavirus better when we talked about it together, offering input from our own disciplines and perspectives, creating new knowledge that could not exist without the others.
Manhattanville College Offers Summer Course On COVID-19 For First-Year Students
Manhattanville College Sports Studies Professor Dr. Amy Bass says the course aims to help students make sense of the pandemic across a range of disciplines
Manhattanville College rolls out summer course on COVID-19 for first-year students
Amy Bass, professor of sports studies and one of the moderators, will offer a keynote lecture on how the NBA's sudden suspension of its season on March 11 got the nation's attention. "The NBA woke America up to what was happening," she said.
Sports can't exist without fans in the seats
Baseball has served as a marker of time in America, a constant across the years explains James Earl Jones in his role as fictional writer Terence Mann in the 1989 film "Field of Dreams." "People will come," he tells his new friend Ray, played by Kevin Costner, a man who has plowed under his corn crop in Iowa to build an improbable baseball field. "And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they'd dipped themselves in magic waters."
Glimmer of Hope for Sports, but Don't Pop Champagne
Associated Press / The New York Times online
From the article: “Good God, do I want to watch a baseball game,” exclaimed Amy Bass, a professor of sports studies at Manhattanville College just north of New York City. “We’re constantly saying that sports is not just an escape, that we can learn a lot from sports. But you know what? They are an escape.” “I think we’re going to be looking at a cultural shift in sports,” Bass said, comparing it to the security-minded changes that affected all walks of life after the 2001 terrorist attacks. “There are kids today who don’t know we didn’t used to get frisked going into a ballpark. So many things changed in the culture of sports after 9-11.”
The Power Of the Game: An Interview With ‘One Goal’ Author Amy Bass
Urban Pitch online
Amy Bass: I went to college in Lewiston many years ago. When you go to Bates College, Lewiston’s always sort of on your radar. A friend who still lives in Maine posted about the team on Facebook, and it was at a really opportune political time. It was when there was a lot of rage emerging in the United States about refugees relocating to the U.S. in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
How this high school soccer coach brought a divided town together
The TODAY Show online
The moving story of the Lewiston High School Blue Devils is detailed in a new book released on Tuesday by author Amy Bass called "One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together." Bass is the wife of TODAY's Director of Production Management.
Selected Event Appearances (5)
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
Baltimore Writers’ Conference, November 2018 Baltimore, MD
Selected Articles (2)
State of the Field: Sports History and the “Cultural Turn”Journal of American History
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 HistoryJournal of American History
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...