New General Education Course on Professional Wrestling

Published: August 10, 2020 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU professors, Dr. Kris Phillips and Dr. Lindsey Roper,What does wrestling have in common with philosophy and biology? To find out, we invite you to enroll in a new course available at Southern Utah University, Talkin' 'Bout Hard Times: The Philosophy and Physiology of Sports Entertainment.

This six credit, general education course is part of the integrated general education initiative and will be available for enrollment in Spring 2021. The course was developed and will be taught by Dr. Kris Phillips, associate professor of philosophy, and Dr. Lindsey Roper, assistant professor of biology.

“Students should take this course for the challenge,” Dr. Roper said. “General Education courses are not something merely to get through; they should push you outside of your comfort zone and assist you in seeing that, while we may choose to specialize in one area, all fields are intimately connected. On the surface, Biology, Philosophy, and Professional Wrestling have absolutely nothing in common, but when we take a deeper look there is a massive amount of shared interest and subject matter.”

Throughout this course, students will examine professional wrestling through a philosophical and biological lens. Topics will range from class struggle to complicated injuries. The professors are also planning on engaging the class in meaningful field experiences, guest lectures, and an exciting final project that involves creating a wrestling avatar.

“With careful scrutiny, we can learn from the least likely of sources,” said Dr. Phillips. “Professional wrestling has a stigma surrounding it – and it’s not entirely unearned. But despite the shortcomings of some sports athletes, promotions, and so on, there is a surprising opportunity to explore social, biological and generally human topics in-depth.”

This course came to fruition after the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) picked up Dr. Phillips and Dr. Roper’s course proposal and offered them a grant. The pair then attended a CETL workshop to identify best practices, build a tentative syllabus, and work up the curriculum paperwork to build their course. But the real excitement for this course will take place in the classroom, immersed in the content.

“I may be a little biased but I think Dr. Phillips and I are very entertaining; each class period will be an adventure, to say the least,” said Dr. Roper. “You may start the day discussing the basics of the endocrine system, switch to the power dynamics of race and gender, and end up watching clips of the first-ever women’s steel cage match.”

Students interested in enrolling in this new course should visit their website, developed by Dr. Phillips and Dr. Roper, for more information. To locate the course in the SUU Catalog or on the registration portal, simply search for SUU 2250, Phil and Phys of Pro Wrestling. The course will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m. this Spring 2021 semester.

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