"Ideology in Motion: On the Relationship of Sports and Politics" Graduate Student conference at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 4-5 December, 2009
Throughout history, sports have mobilized the masses. From antiquity to modernity and beyond, competitive physical engagement has continued to captivate the hearts and minds of individuals as well as entire nations. In all this time, sports and sporting events have served a wide variety of political purposes, ranging from a supposed symbol for peace (as in the case of the Olympic Games) to a staging ground for rivalries on a local, regional, national and international level. While, in such cases, the connection between sports and politics may be relatively obvious, it
is not always merely the question of success and defeat, of supremacy and inferiority, which is at stake in sportive contexts. Rather, sports can be seen as a mirror of an array of social and cultural ideologies: Categories such as honour, courage and honesty (for instance, in recent doping scandals) are as fundamental factors in the discourses informing and surrounding sports as constructions of gender, race and class; body images and the fetishization of athletes have proven as central to the political impact of sports as, for instance, their ever-growing economical relevance. The question, thus, is not whether or not there
exists a direct relationship between sports and politics, but how this relationship manifests itself in different contexts. Just in time for both the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the Soccer World Cup in South Africa, this conference seeks to investigate this question and discuss how the thrall of organized physical competition and its relationship to politics can be explained from a variety of different perspectives.
"Global Players, Local Cultures: Sports and Cosmopolitanism in Europe and North America."
Dr. Andrei S. Markovits
Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
We invite contributions from current graduate students in all areas and disciplines on a variety of topics including, but not limited to, the following:
- There is no I in Team: Collective identities through sports – national, regional, and local
- Competitive hegemonies: gender, class, and race in sports
- "Every Country Needs a Legend": Political sporting events
- Athletic aesthetics: Politicized literary, cinematic and other artistic negotiations of bodies in motion
- Citizens in training: institutionalized physical education and healthy 'Volkskörper'
- Sporting goods: the political economy of sports
- Spectator Sports: (passive) identification and the social psychology of fandom
- Score and Peace: revisiting the Olympic myth
Please send proposals of no more than 300 words along with a brief academic CV to both Guido Schenkel (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jeremy Redlich (email@example.com) by 15 March, 2009.
Guido Schenkel, PhD Student
Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies
University of British Columbia
Buchanan Tower 222 - 1873 East Mall
Canada V6T 1Z1
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