In recent years sports have prompted a wide range of approaches from the field of culture studies. Some perspectives emphasize a critical discourse analysis of mass media representations and attention to corporate frameworks. Others focus on sports as vernacular practice, accentuating their creative and potentially subversive potential. In this dynamic field, basketball ranks as a particularly interesting case. Its commercialized context and its improvisatory qualities produce a tension relevant to a diverse group of scholars in the humanities.
The conference "Cultures of Basketball", to be held in Berlin (28-30 November, 2013), addresses basketball as a transnational phenomenon, exploring how one and the same sport produces distinct, even contrasting images and functions in different cultural contexts. Starting from this observation, our conference investigates national as well as transnational "cultures of basketball". We are interested in papers addressing professional, school, and collegiate basketball, playground and club basketball – all levels of the game.
Topics for papers might include
- the roles of basketball in national and transnational sports cultures
- its function in co-constructing categories such as 'race'/ethnicity, sexuality, class, (dis)ability, nationality and diaspora
- basketball as language and/or sign system (body language, game plans, statistics, aesthetics)
- representations of the sport in literature and visual culture
- basketball as a component of "street culture"
- mediated spectacles of basketball (live games, sports coverage in the media)
- basketball as part of globalizing regimes of production and consumption
- historical dimensions of basketball.
Abstracts of approximately one page should be sent to Christoph Ribbat, University of Paderborn (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Eva Boesenberg, Humboldt University, Berlin (email@example.com) by August 20, 2012.
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