Sports, Society, and Technology Program

Georgia Tech, the School of History and Sociology, and the Ivan Allen Georgia Tech have recently launched a new program in Sports, Society, and Technology (SST). This initiative helps faculty and students to study sport in the contexts of historical and contemporary culture. Interdisciplinary studies and innovative teaching in SST will help students become leaders in the sport and health industries, higher education, and in our local and global communities. The program also houses the Sports, Society, and Technology Research Center.   

Declare the SST Minor

Image of a pool with swimmers.

SST Fall 2017 Courses

HTS 3075, Foundations of Sports Studies; Professor Matt Ventresca - TTH at 1:30 pm
HTS 3073, Sociology of Sports; Professor Mary McDonald - TTH 9:30 am
HTS 2015, History of Sports in America; Professor Johnny Smith - TTH 12:00 pm

ARCH 4803, Stadia; Professor Benjamin Flowers - TTH 3:00 pm
MSE 4803R, Materials Science & Engineering of Sports; Professor Jud Ready - MWF 12:20 pm


HSOC is also offering a course, HTS 3813 Fitness Leadership on Wednesdays from 4 pm-7:00 pm, taught by long-time Georgia Tech Athletic Director, Dr. Homer Rice.

SST Events

Olympic Pride American Prejudice posterFilm Screening: Olympic Pride, American Prejudice
Monday, October 2, 2017 at 6:30pm - Student Center Theater (Georgia Tech)

The Sports, Society, and Technology program is proud to be hosting a screening of Deborah Riley Draper's documentary film, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice. The film recounts the experiences of 18 African American athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. While track star Jesse Owens has garnered much of the attention, the stories of his US teammates are equally compelling and serve as entry points to witness the material effects of and challenges to white supremacy nationally and internationally. A panel with Draper and Georgia Tech faculty members Dr. Johnny Smith and Dr. Greg Zinman will follow the screening on October 2 at 6:30 pm in the Student Center Theater. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Mary McDonald. 

This free event is sponsored by the Sports, Society, and Technology program, the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, the School of History and Sociology, and the Black Feminist Think Tank. For more information, contact Mary McDonald at mary.mcdonald [at] (subject: Film%20Screening%3A%20Olympic%20Pride%2C%20American%20Prejudice)

SST in the News

Dr. Mary McDonald Co-Edits Special Journal Issue, "Doing Sport History in the Digital Present"

Dr. McDonald recently co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Sport History, “Doing Sport History in the Digital Present” (Vol. 44, No. 2, Summer 2017). This is among the first collections to address theories, issues, and methods related to sport history in relationship to digital scholarship. The 14 articles in the special issue were initially presented and reviewed at a workshop hosted by the Sports, Society, and Technology Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology in May 2016. With Dr. Jennifer Sterling (University of Iowa) and Dr. Murray Phillips (University of Queensland) Dr. McDonald also co-authored the special issue’s introduction, an essay that discusses each of the 14 articles’ unique contributions while also considering the challenges and possibilities of digital scholarship within sport history. Each article in the special issue can be accessed at:

Dr. Matt Ventresca to Speak at Smithsonian National Museum of American History Symposium

Dr. Ventresca, Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of History and Sociology, will be a panelist at the Invention, Sport, Technology, and Society workshop to be held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on September 8th and 9th in Washington, DC. The workshop, hosted by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, brings together a network of academics, practitioners, and elite athletes to discuss the impact of developments in sports technology on broader society. Dr. Ventresca is featured as part of a panel entitled, "Invention, Technology, Sport, and the Body" and will speaking about the role of the media in shaping public perceptions about the use of technologies in sports contexts.

Dr. Johnny Smith Named Julius C. "Bud" Shaw Professor

Dr. Smith has been named the Julius C. "Bud" Shaw Professor of Sports, Society, and Technology. This named professorship, made possible through the generous support of the late “Bud” Shaw and his sons Julius and Lee, will provide support for research and for a variety of activities connected with the undergraduate minor, including expanded internship opportunities. Professor Smith has also received other accolades recently from the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSH). He won the organization’s 2017 outstanding book award for his co-authored (with Randy Roberts) text, Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X.

NASSH also retroactively recognized his article “‘It’s Not Really My Country’: Lew Alcindor and the Revolt of the Black Athlete,” as the best article published in the Journal of Sport History in 2009.

Dr. Kirk Bowman's Documentaries about Sport Continue to Wow Audiences

Professor Bowman, the Jon R. Wilcox Term Professor in Soccer and Global Politics, continues his work as the Co-Founder of “Rise Up and Care,” a non-profit organization that supports high-level performance training (including sports) as a means to encourage youth development in Brazil. This past March, one of the five documentary films he helped to produce, “Bad and Birdie Man,” screened at the 41st Atlanta International Film Festival. This film follows Sebastião’s quest to use badminton to assist the children in his community of Chacrinha, Rio de Janeiro. With love, hard work and dedication, members of the badminton team qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games. After debuting during the 2016 Rio Olympics, Professor Bowman’s five documentaries are now being shown in schools throughout Rio de Janeiro.  Dr. Bowman is Professor in Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and a SST affiliated faculty member who is currently writing a book that uses soccer to explore the theories and concepts of comparative politics.

Dr. Benjamin Flowers Publishes Book, Sport and Architecture

Professor Benjamin Flowers’ book Sport and Architecture was published by Routledge in 2017.  This book explores the history of sports architecture and offers an analysis of the social, political and cultural contexts of several sports stadiums across the globe.  Dr. Flowers is Professor in the School of Architecture and a SST Affiliated Faculty Member who also directs the Stadia Lab at Georgia Tech

Former Georgia Tech Athletic Director Homer Rice Receives 2016 IAC Dean's Appreciation Award

Legendary college football coach, educator, author, and former Georgia Tech Athletic Director, Dr. Homer C. Rice has received the 2016 Ivan Allen College Dean's Appreciation Award. This award not only recognizes Dr. Rice's national accomplishments but also acknowledges his long-time and continuing contributions to the School of History and Sociology, the Sports, Society, and Technology Program, and Georgia Tech.

This video tribute helps to capture some of his important contributions.

Past SST Events

Requiem for a Running BackScreening of Requiem for a Running Back
February 13, 2017

The Sports, Society, and Technology program and the School of History and Sociology presented a screening of the film "Requiem for a Running Back" at the Student Center Theater on Georgia Tech campus. This moving film tells the story of Lew Carpenter, who suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy as a result of brain injuries sustained during his career as a college and professional football player. The screening was followed by a panel discussion and talk back featuring the film's director Rebecca Carpenter (who is also Lew's daughter), sports injury attorney Von DuBose, as well as our own Matt Ventresca (postdoctoral fellow in the School of History and Sociology). The panelists answered several engaging questions posed by members of the audience on topics ranging from the ongoing legal fallout facing the National Football League to the role of the sports media in shaping public opinion to the power of film as a storytelling medium.

ReImagine Rio imagesFestival Reimagine Rio: The Intersection of Performance, Innovation, Leadership, Development, and Film with Dr. Kirk Bowman
November 7, 2016

On November 7, Dr. Kirk Bowman (Jon R. Wilcox Term Professor in Soccer and Global Politics, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs) gave a thought-provoking presentation discussing his exciting work with the non-profit Rise Up & Care and his involvement with the film festival Reimagine Rio that took place in August of this year. The festival was a celebration of five Brazilian films that tell inspiring stories of communties working together to reimagine and transform the city of Rio De Janeiro. Dr. Bowman showed the trailers for each of the five films that were showcased during the festival and explained how these films tell the stories of individuals who are making drastic, positive contributions to communities across Rio. Citing his personal experiences in Rio working with the filmmakers and other community leaders, Dr. Bowman described how each of these films shows how local, small-scale innovation can thrive and work to produce large-scale cultural transformation. One of these films, Bad and the Birdieman (2016), follows Sebastião, a native of the Chacrinha favela in Rio, who founded a badminton league that against all odds grew from its humble beginnings to develop multiple internationally-ranked players. Dr. Bowman also discussed the growth of the Rise Up & Care program to include other countries in South America, as well as the success of his study abroad program. The presentation was followed by an enthusiastic Q&A, in which audience members touched on a diverse issues ranging from film production to global development practices.

This event was presented by the Sports, Society, and Technology Program in collaboration with The Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs.

Follow the links below to learn more about:

  • the SST Research Center;
  • the SST leadership and participating faculty; and
  • all the recent news about the activities, events, and people associated with SST.