SPORT ON THE SILVER SCREEN: NOTES TOWARD A TAXONOMY
Speaker: Dr Daniel Nathan (Skidmore College, New York)
People love sport; people love film. (Not everyone, of course, but at least several hundred million people, to be conservative.) These two leisure activities – both of which are lucrative transnational business endeavours and vibrant, expressive cultural forms – are among the most popular in the world. What happens, however, when these two practices (and passions) are combined? What do we know or think about sport on the silver screen? Into what categories do or should films about sport be classified? Moreover, what do we think (or how should we think) about sport films based on true stories?
The answers to these questions are multifaceted, contentious, and deserve our attention. After all, besides being popular and profitable, sport films have a long history. Twenty years ago, one book catalogued almost 500 films about sport. A more recent study cites 2,000. Dozens more have been produced since then. They come in many forms: comedies, tragedies, tragicomedies, musicals, and documentaries. Drawing on the work of film scholars and sport historians, this seminar paper considers a rough taxonomy of sport films and focuses on sport history films as an especially valuable, engaging subgenre.
Daniel A. Nathan is an Associate Professor of American Studies at Skidmore College. The author of the award-winning Saying It’s So: A Cultural History of the Black Sox Scandal (2003), Nathan has also published essays and book, film, and exhibition reviews for a variety of periodicals. He has served as the Film, Media, and Museum Reviews editor for the Journal of Sport History and is the President-elect of the North American Society for Sport History.
Time and Date: 5:15 PM, Monday, 12th December.
Location: Athlone Room (Room 102), Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.
All are welcome. For more information, please contact Dion Georgiou, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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