Maurice Charles Rippel

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Yale U.

Grant number

Gr. 10537

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Rippel, Maurice (Yale U.) "The Privileged Prospects: Education, Masculinity and Sports Nationalism in the Black Atlantic"

My research proposes a multi-sited study of the daily lives of Black scholar-athletes. Through fieldwork conducted in Philadelphia, USA and Kingston, Jamaica between July 2023-June 2024, I bring attention to the ‘prep-to-pro’ pipeline. This research addresses the eerie reality of how the logics of modern sport mimic colonial structures of administration and surveillance, and plantation practices of domination and extraction. During research, I will conduct participant-observation research with Black boys competing on a high school track team in Jamaica as they prepare for the annual Penn Relays Carnival, held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia since 1895. Research will also include semi-structured interviews with student-athletes, coaches, scouts, and spectators; the crafting of life narratives to understand how student-athletes conceive of their own sporting lives; and, focus groups with Black student-athletes from across institutions in both Jamaica and the United States. I will meditate with archival sources that document the entangled history of colonialism and imperialism within the search for the ‘World’s Fastest Man’ and how this has shaped Jamaica in the public imagination as the world’s ‘Sprint Factory.’ My research encourages greater attention to the history of race within anthropology, and will contribute to broader understandings of Blackness, masculinity, and nationalism.