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Sport in History Best Article 2014 Nominations Summaries

Following discussion by Sport in History’s editorial team, the three articles below have been nominated for the British Society of Sports History’s prize of best article published in 2014. The winner will be announced at the BSSH Annual Conference in 2015. 

Angela Schattner, ‘For the Recreation of Gentleman and Other Fit Persons of the Better Sort: Tennis Courts and Bowling Greens as Early Leisure Venues in Sixteenth-to Eighteenth Century London and Bath’, June 2014

The history of early modern sport has begun to attract growing attention from scholars, but it is still a largely neglected field. Angela Schattner’s finely contextualised article builds on this new body of work and at the same time sheds fresh light on the emergence of the links between sporting practices and commercialised entertainment. Using London and Bath as case studies, it highlights how early forms of bowls and tennis were ‘strongly embedded in the context of pastimes and leisure in the early modern period’ and how sport was linked to prevailing ideas of health as well as a fledgling class of leisure entrepreneurs.

 

Geraldine Biddle-Perry, ‘The Rise of the World’s Largest Sport and Athletic Outfitter: A Study of Gamage’s of Holborn, 1878-1913’, June 2014

Geraldine Biddle-Perry’s elegantly written article is an example of one of the new directions that the history of sport has been exploring in recent years. Her analysis of Gamage’s, the self-proclaimed ‘World’s Largest Sport and Athletic Outfitter’, brings a new perspective on the relationship between sport and consumption in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and highlights the role of sport in shaping consumer tastes more generally. Not just a shop, it was a space that reflected and determined social and economic change. Importantly, it catered for an aspiring male suburban clerical class who embraced modernity through their consumption of sporting fashions.

 

Michael Dawson, ‘Breaking away from the big boys? Jamaican and White Commonwealth expectations at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games’, September 2014

The study of sporting mega-events has been a recent fruitful area of research for historians. In his study of the 1966 British and Empire and Commonwealth Games, held in Jamaica, Michael Dawson offers an original perspective on a little-researched event. Dawson carefully locates the Games in the context of post-war decolonisation and examines journalistic discourse to tease out its political significance. In particular, the Games revealed a persistent sense of entitlement amongst the press in the White Dominions in the staging of such events as well as the presence of prevailing tensions. As much as the Friendly Games, the Commonwealth Games also betrayed division.

 

BSSH Scotland Symposium - Histories of Cross-Border Sport in Scotland and England

Call for Papers

Histories of Cross-Border Sport in Scotland and England

Robert Burns Centre, Dumfries

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The British Society of Sports History, Scottish Network, is pleased to invite you to ‘Histories of Cross-Border Sport in Scotland and England’, our annual one-day symposium, this year at the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries.

Suggested paper topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • The South of Scotland, the North of England, and civic, ‘regional’, and ‘national’ identities
  • Sport, gender, and work in the region
  • Cross-Border sporting events, competitions, and leagues
  • Sport, environment, and agriculture
  • Biographies of sportspeople and sporting ‘heroes’

 

Papers from emerging scholars, community historians, as well as museum and heritage practitioners, would be particularly welcome.

Our keynote address will be given by Professor Tony Collins, International Centre for Sports History and Culture, De Montfort University, who will be discussing: ‘Rugby in the Borders and at the Borders’.

Abstracts should be no longer than 200 words, and should be sent to BSSH Scotland ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by Monday, 31 August 2015, along with any other queries.

   

BSSH South Winter 2015 Workshop: 'Sport, Leisure and Visual Culture'

Winter 2015 Workshop

Sport, Leisure and Visual Culture

Venue: University of Chichester

Date: Saturday, 5th December 2015 

Call for Papers

The purpose of this research meeting is to pull together recent thinking from visual studies and leisure history to better understand relationships between the two fields. Papers are invited to discuss some or all of the following:

  • Leisure in fine art
  • News photography and leisure
  • Television and the framing of leisure
  • Leisure on the cinema screen
  • New media and leisure
  • Comics and graphic novels and leisure
  • Fanzines and ‘underground’ subcultures
  • Advertising imagery and leisure
  • Spectacular leisure forms

We are seeking proposals for papers on a range of different leisure forms (including sport, cinema, popular music, theatre, tourism, shopping, etc.) and time periods. Papers with a focus on the South of England are particularly welcome, but we are also happy to consider proposals for papers on leisure and visual culture elsewhere in Britain, in other countries, and indeed, globally.

It is hoped that specialists from leisure history and cultural and visual history will begin new and productive dialogues on the theme of the event. Questions to potentially be discussed will include: how visual images of leisure impact on cultural understanding and stereotypes and participant behaviours, as well as being a major source in the creation of fan culture. In addition, more theoretical contributions that open up appreciation of the idea of the visual ‘in and for’ leisure will be welcome. Likewise, works on cross-media depictions of leisure are also encouraged, for example, how has cinema adapted/updated famous writings on leisure.

If you would be interested in giving a paper, please send an abstract (c. 300 words) and a brief biography to Paul Wheeler, Senior Lecturer in Sport Development Management, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and Professor Hugo Frey, Head of History and Politics, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by Thursday, 1st October.

This workshop is organised by the British Society of Sports History's South of England Sport and Leisure History Network (BSSH South), which aims to bring together individuals in Greater London, the South East and the East of England interested in the history of leisure in all of its forms.

Where appropriate, the University of Chichester will offer small travel bursaries for British-based MPhil/PhD students to the sum of £90 and to one non-British based MPhil/PhD student to the sum of £150.

   

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Sport in History Best Article 2014 Nominations Summaries

Following discussion by Sport in History’s editorial team, the three articles below have been nominated for the British Society of Sports History’s prize of best article published in 2014. The winner will be announced at...

BSSH Scotland Symposium - Histories of Cross-Border Sport in Scotland and England

Call for Papers Histories of Cross-Border Sport in Scotland and England Robert Burns Centre, Dumfries Saturday, 17 October 2015 The British Society of Sports History, Scottish Network, is pleased to invite you to...

BSSH South Winter 2015 Workshop: 'Sport, Leisure and Visual Culture'

Winter 2015 Workshop Sport, Leisure and Visual Culture Venue: University of Chichester Date: Saturday, 5th December 2015  Call for Papers The purpose of this research meeting is to pull together recent thinking...