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Asia and world baseball is the topic of a lecture by University of Chicago professor John Kelly, February 8, 2010.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The Asian Studies Program at Vassar College will present a lecture by John Kelly, professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago, who will discuss “Asia and World Baseball,” on Monday, February 8. Free and open to the public, the program will begin at 5:00pm, in Rockefeller Hall, room 200.

Intended equally for people interested in postcolonial nation-states and people interested in trends in world sport, Kelly’s lecture, illustrated with slides and clips from key events, will be based on his research in East Asia, Latin America, and the United States. He will examine the background of three of the most recent international championships: the 2006 World Baseball Classic, the 2008 Olympics, and the 2009 World Baseball Classic (WBC), which were won by national teams from Japan and Korea. Although, he noted, the US-based Major Leagues encouraged their star players to participate in two out of the three tournaments, the teams made up primarily of MLB players have fared poorly, and only the teams from Japan, Korea, and Cuba have made it to the finals.
Kelly is a scholar of social and cultural theory and an anthropologist of South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.  He is the lead editor of the collection Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency, author of recent encyclopedia articles on “Postcoloniality,” “Neo-imperialism,” and “Cultural Relativism,” and is co-author, with Vassar College’s Martha Kaplan, of Represented Communities: Fiji and World Decolonization.  He has also written extensively about baseball culture and history, including contrasting national and global-oriented studies of Jackie Robinson, “Integrating America: Jackie Robinson, Critical Events, and Baseball Black and White” and “Exclusionary America: Jackie Robinson, Decolonization, and Baseball Not Black and White” both published in the International Journal of the History of Sport (IJHS). Based on his research on the first WBC, in 2006 Kelly published The American Game: Capitalism, Decolonization, World Domination, and Baseball.  He is a senior consulting editor to the IJHS, and at the University of Chicago he team teaches a course on “Sport, Science and Society,” and another on “History and Culture of Baseball.”
The lecture is co-sponsored by the departments of Anthropology and Geography, the International Studies Program, the office of the Dean of the Faculty, and Athletics.
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar Campus are available online at www.vassar.edu/directions.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, February 3, 2010