An expert in the phenomenon of sporting excellence found in American Samoa will visit the West Virginia University campus on Wednesday, April 18, to discuss “Fa’a Samoa: So close to God, so far from the United States: American Football in American Samoa and Among the Diaspora.”
Dr. Robert Ruck will cover the extraordinary representation of Samoan athletes, like Troy Polamalu, found in American football and professional rugby in Europe, scheduled at 6:30 p.m. in Room 172 of the Coliseum. The presentation is hosted by the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Distinguished Lecture Series. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Ruck teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of “Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh” and “The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic.” His documentary work includes the Emmy Awardwinning “Kings on the Hill: Baseball’s Forgotten Men,” and “The Republic of Baseball: Dominican Giants of the American Game.”
“WVU is fortunate to have Dr. Ruck visit campus to share his research and expertise in sport culture in Samoa,” said Dr. Gonzalo Bravo, Sport Management assistant professor at CPASS.
“His knowledge in sport history and culture is widely respected by colleagues and experts across disciplines. His work reflects a true global understanding of sports, its transformation and significance in society. He’s served as consultant for the Pittsburgh Pirates, HBO, and ESPN for various projects and documentaries.”
Ruck has been the recipient of numerous funded research grants and has published many journal articles and textbook chapters related to race and the social history of sport.
In 2010 he received the “African-American Historian of Pittsburgh,” CMU’s Center for African American Urban Studies and the Economy. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Maggie Patterson, his coauthor for Rooney: A Sporting Life.
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Kimberly Cameon, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences