Thursday Jun 15, 2023

Episode 112: Black Ball with Theresa Runstedler

Theresa Runstedtler is Associate Professor of History and Critical Race, Gender, and Cultural Studies at American University. She is the author of Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line (UC Press, 2012) and, this year, Black Ball: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Spencer Haywood, and the Generation That Saved the Soul of the NBA (Bold Type Books, 2023). She is also a former member of the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak and has worked in public relations for a national sports network.

On this episode, Dr. Runstedtler joins Johanna Mellis and Nathan Kalman-Lamb to explain the history of the NBA's 1970s and how an era of anti-racist athletic labor struggle came to be discursively distorted as a 'dark age' for the professional basketball league. This wide-ranging conversation also covers cultural studies as an epistemological and methodological framework for understanding sport, youth sport as a site of child labor, dance as sport/labor, and so much more.

You can find Dr. Runstedtler on Twitter @DrTRunstedtler.

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