Teaching geopolitics through sport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper reflects on teaching sport in political geography undergraduate courses in the United States, through which I simultaneously aim to de-essentialize geopolitics and de-essentialize sport. I integrate sport examples in diverse courses on political geography and teach a dedicated “Geopolitics of Sport” course. By framing my approach to the political geographies of sport around the specific term “geopolitics,” I deliberately tap into a sense among Americans that it is a “more serious” topic than “geography.” Since students in my courses rarely come from Geography, but are primarily majors in Political Science and International Relations, “geopolitics” invites them to approach sports geography as a serious subject and to be more open to the field of geography. Since geography remains a neglected subject in US schools and universities, teaching sports geography through geopolitics, and geopolitics through sports geography, can be a powerful way to encourage critical geographic reasoning, especially among non-geography majors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geography in Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • geopolitics
  • geopolitics of sport
  • political geography
  • sports geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Education


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