Sports and Race Experts Available to Discuss Texas Relays

The Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays take place April 6-9 on The University of Texas at Austin campus. This annual track and field event attracts athletes from Texas and across the country. Faculty members at the university are available to discuss racial discourse in American culture, the role of sports in the integration of America, underlying racial dimensions of safety concerns during the Texas Relays and other sports and race-related topics.

John Hartigan Jr.
Professor, Department of Anthropology
A number of Austin businesses closed in 2010 during the Texas Relays, upsetting locals and visitors who saw the moves as inhospitable or even racist. Hartigan, who examines the rhetorical maze of racial discourse in American culture, is available to discuss how business leaders, reporters and Austin residents responded to the controversy, and the underlying racial dimensions of safety concerns during the Texas Relays.

Ben Carrington
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Carrington has published widely on race, sports and culture, including topics such as nationalism, masculinity, the politics of race and sport policy, and blackness and celebrity sports culture. He is the author of "Race, Sport and Politics." Read his QandA for more about his work.

Louis Harrison Jr.
Associate Professor, College of Education
Harrison researches the ways in which race influences physical activity and sports participation. He is investigating why African Americans compose 12 percent of the population but 78 percent of the National Basketball Association, 67 percent of the National Football League and 63 percent of the Women's National Basketball Association. Learn more in the feature story "Redefine the Finish Line." Harrison is the organizer for this year's McGarr Symposium on Sport and Society, which takes place April 7.

Mike Cramer
Director, Texas Program in Sports and Media
Cramer is an expert on sports, media and the combined financial and cultural impact of sports and media on society. His research explores the way in which sports and media contributed to the integration of America, and how social and political factors shape how people perceive, experience and relate to sports.

S. Craig Watkins
Associate Professor, Department of Radio-Television-Film
Watkins is an expert on race, hip-hop culture and music, and digital and social media. With support from the MacArthur Foundation and the College of Communication, Watkins studies the social impact of digital media on youth culture, including minority youth. He also writes about the role of social media and games in sports and society.

Kevin Foster
Assistant Professor, departments of African and African Diaspora Studies, Anthropology, Educational Administration
Foster is an educational anthropologist who researches the social, cultural and structural factors affecting students' academic outcomes. He has published extensively in areas related to African American students' academic engagement and achievement. In 2005, he co-founded COBRA, the Community of Brothers in Revolutionary Alliance, which promotes the academic and leadership development of boys in several central Texas high schools.

John Ivy
Chair Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
Ivy studies the nutrition needed for optimum physical performance and did a major study on nutrient timing. He focuses on the acute and chronic effects of exercise on muscle metabolism and was enlisted by Wheaties to design and provide the scientific research for its new high-performance cereal formula. Learn more in the feature story "Timing is Everything" and see webisodes of Ivy with top national athletes.

Ed Coyle
Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
Coyle conducted a seven-year study of Lance Armstrong and what physiological traits contributed to his Tour de France success. Coyle's research in focuses on physiological traits of elite athletes. He is director of the university's Human Performance Lab. Learn more in the feature story "Man and Superman."

John Hoberman
Department of Germanic Studies
Hoberman has researched and published widely on the cultural complexities of race in sport and on elite athletes' use of performance-enhancing drugs. Arguing that the disproportionate attention devoted to black athletes ultimately perpetuates the myth of race, he examines the consequences of high-profile black athletic achievement in the United States and around the world. He is the author of "Sport and Political Ideology," "The Olympic Crisis," "Mortal Engines," "Darwin's Athletes" and "Testosterone Dreams."