Cultural anthropology of the Penn State tragedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The essay uses the theoretical-methodological strategy of notes and listing (following the practices of Susan Sontag and Umberto Eco, among others) to illuminate particular, unique historical and cultural-anthropological aspects of the Jerry Sandusky-Penn State scandal/tragedy. Special attention is devoted in the essay to critique of depictions of the Catholic Church, ancient Greece, the "unsayable," and social memory in regard to their links to the Penn State tragedy. Tribute is paid to those such as Murray Sperber, Michael Bérubé and Cary Nelson, whose scholarly activism foresaw and attempted 0to prevent such a scandal. Influenced by ideas about ritual forwarded by Seligman, Weller, Piett and Simon, ultimately the essay seeks to forward a distinctive understanding of the nature of sport that goes against common scholarly and popular beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalCultural Studies - Critical Methodologies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Penn State
  • ancient Greece
  • catholic church
  • social memory
  • sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cultural anthropology of the Penn State tragedy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this