Athletic competition has been a part of civil society for as long as societies have been civilized. But imperial ideologies of the nation-state as the source of communal identity and the relentless march of globalization have complicated the idea that the athletic body reflects the identity of the individual to whom it appears to belong. Sporting bodies have long since outstripped Greek wrestling philosophers, de Coubertin’s Olympic ideal, or Huizinga’s theory of play as socialization. As sport acquires ever-expanding strata of codification and complication – both in terms of the rules imposed and the techniques of dissemination utilised – the way that they are culturally expressed has become more and more detached from the physical reality of involvement. This graduate conference, co-organised by the Universities of Leeds, Paris-Sorbonne and Jadavpur, seeks to explore the ways sport is experienced and represented throughout history and across the globe. Our discussions will traverse geographical, historical, or disciplinary boundaries and reflect upon sport in its diverse, intricate and numerous forms of expression and imposition, and consider its roles in shaping personal and communal modes of being.
Sporting Bodies will take place over two days on the 23rd and 24th May 2013 at the University of Leeds’ Leeds Humanities Research Institute. We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on any topics at the intersection of sport and the humanities from postgraduate students and early-career researchers. These could include, but are not limited to:
– Sport and sexuality
– The body as a construct of self-identity
– Selfhood and the team
– The institutionalisation of sport/the institutions of sport
– The medicalization of sporting bodies
– Disciplining and punishing the body
– Narrating bodies in motion
– Relationships between the body and equipment, machines or animals
– Architectures of sport
– The body in pain
– Colonised sporting bodies
– The relationship between race, colour and sport
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15th 2013.