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 Spring 2018 Courses

HTS 3075, Foundations of Sports Studies; Professor Matt Ventresca - TTH at 9:30 am
HTS 3089, Science, Technology, and Sports; Professor Matt Ventresca - TTH at 1:30 pm
HTS 3022, Gender and Sports; Professor Mary McDonald - MWF 10:10 am
HTS 4001, Seminar in US History: Sports and the Black Freedom Struggle; Professor Johnny Smith - M 9:05 am
INTA 3242, Soccer & Global Politics; Professor Kirk Bowman - MWF 9:05 am
MSE 4803, Materials Science and Engineering of Sports; Professor Jud Ready - MWF 1:55pm

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 Speaks at Smithsonian National Museum of American History Symposium

Dr. Ventresca, Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of History and Sociology, was a panelist at the Invention, Sport, Technology, and Society workshop held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on September 8th and 9th in Washington, D.C. The workshop, hosted by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, brought together a network of academics, practitioners, and elite athletes to discuss the impact of developments in sports technology on broader society. Dr. Ventresca was featured on a panel entitled, "Invention, Technology, Sport, and the Body" and spoke 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. Smith also published an article for Slate in September about how the legacy of renowned NFL coach Vince Lombardi has been mobilized in the context of the recent athlete protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

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.

Coming SST Events

Sports and the Black Freedom Struggle Event


Historians Johnny Smith (School of History and Sociology, Georgia Institute of Technology) and Ashley Brown (Department of History, University of Wisconsin, Madison) reflect upon the legacies of Black sporting activism including that of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, and Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ famous Black power salute during the playing of the national anthem at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico. This conversation is not only important in shedding light upon the diverse strategies utilized within the Civil Rights movement, but also in providing an historical context to better understand U. S. Black athlete activism in the contemporary moment. 
Click here for more information.

Critically Examining Sports' "Concussion Crises"

Critically Examining Sports' "Concussion Crises"
March 8-10, 2018

The Georgia Institute of Technology's Sports, Society, and Technology program is sponsoring an interdisciplinary workshop featuring scholars from across North America whose research critically examines the various intersections of sports and traumatic brain injuries. The presentations interrogate sports' "concussion crises" by drawing on socio-cultural perspectives and situating traumatic brain injuries in their broader social, political, and scientific contexts.

The workshop events on Friday, March 9th are free and open to the public. For more, visit:

Past SST Events

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice Screening and Panel
Olympic Pride American Prejudice poster

The Sports, Society, and Technology (SST) Program hosted a screening of Olympic Pride, American Prejudice and a post-film panel on October 2, 2017 in the Student Center Theater on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Co-sponsors of the event included the Ivan Allen College (IAC) of Liberal Arts, the School of History and Sociology (HSOC), and the Black Feminist Think Tank.

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice explores the experiences of 18 African American Olympians who defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to win hearts and medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The documentary is the creation of Atlanta filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper—who also spoke on the post-film panel—and narrated and executive produced by Blair Underwood. John Dewberry, former Georgia Tech quarterback (1983-1985) who currently heads Dewberry Capital, is a patron of the documentary. He introduced Olympic Pride, American Prejudice to an appreciative standing room only audience of Georgia Tech students and Atlanta community members. Also attending the screening were several honored guests and Atlanta-based members of the production staff. These included: Michael A. Draper (Executive Producer); John and Jaime Dewberry (Patrons of Olympic Pride); Lacy Barnes (Line Producer); Cheryl Rogers (Composer) whose son Charlie Rogers is a Georgia Tech student; Tandi Reddick (Associate Producer). IAC Dean Jackie Royster and HSOC Chair Eric Schatzberg also attended the screening, as did Homer and Karen Rice. Homer Rice is a former athletic director (1980-1997) at Georgia Tech, a SST supporter, and IAC Dean’s Appreciation Award Recipient in 2016.

Filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper was joined on the post-film panel by Georgia Tech Professors Johnny Smith, the Julius C. "Bud" Shaw Professor of Sports, Society, and Technology (HSOC) and Greg Zinman (School of Literature, Media and Communication). Professor Mary McDonald, the Homer C. Rice Chair of Sports and Society, moderated the panel. CLICK HERE for more details about this event.

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice Audience and PanelOlympic Pride, American Prejudice - Deborah Riley Draper with Jaime and John DewberryOlympic Pride, American Prejudice Screening - Lacy Barnes with Homer & Karen RiceOlympic Pride, American Prejudice Screening - Dean Royster with Dr. McDonald, Jaime & John Dewberry




Photo credits: L. Barnes (2017).

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.