The COVID-19 pandemic has radically impacted the object of our research as well as the ways we go about studying sport and physical culture. This anthology explores the impact of COVID-19 on sport in local and global contexts, as well as on the international field of the sociology of sport and physical culture. Underpinned by the necessity of doing research differently following the upheavals caused by the pandemic, this project is initiated through an impetus to look to old and new ways of relational knowing and being. The book begins with a call to the full diversity of critical scholars of sport/physical culture with the hope of bringing into association important research projects and reflections that, once assembled, illuminate the ways in which COVID-19 impacts on our current and future imaginings of sport and physical culture.
Put simply: this call for chapter proposals is an invitation to explore how COVID-19 is and has been relational, diffractive, and productive—in fields of bodily practice and associated fields of inquiry thereabout. Given the corporeal and associative foci of the sociology of sport and physical cultural studies, the COVID-19 pandemic stands as an invitation to reimaginequestions of life, culture, health, immunity, community, embodiment, praxis, sovereignty, (bio)politics, and association. Over recent years, the field of the sociology of sport and physical culture has become increasingly fragmented. Yet, COVID-19 has the potential to bring us together in new ways, enabling new lines of connection, collaboration, and dialogue.
As Braidotti (2020) explains, COVID-19 evokes an affirmative ethics of “‘We’-who-are-not-one-and-the-same-but-are-in-this-convergence-together”. The field of sociology of sport and physical culture is diverse, and COVID-19 accentuates our differences, but also brings us together in our observations and reflections on the new articulations of sport and physical culture in local, national, and global contexts. The pandemic compels us to forge new articulations that help us understand the effects of COVID, and how these selfsame articulations open new possibilities for intellectual practice and the academic fields in which we operate. As such, COVID-19 provides us an important opportunity to rethink the political, pedagogical, and paradigmatic approaches/innovations that are required to respond to the significantly altered conditions of our lives: as academics, activists, educators, researchers, and sporting and social beings.
Hence, within this call for chapter proposals, we invite scholars of diverse backgrounds and identifications; empirical, theoretical, and methodological commitments; geographical locations; and, career stages, to contribute to this dialogue. In the chapters, each author would be asked to write about the impact of COVID-19 on a particular aspect of sport and/or physical culture. Contributions can be more empirical in nature, focusing on sport and physical culture as reterritorialized with/through COVID-19, or can be more reflexive in looking at how the author’s teaching, research, and everyday life was and has been affected by the pandemic. Each author is encouraged to work within their field of inquiry and topic of study, but with the request that each chapter works at the intersection of TWO (or more) of the following key themes:
These themes are an opening for the expression of many different possible voices and creative approaches, but they also enable the emergence of new forms of dialogue within the field as prompted by COVID-19. Amongst other questions, they compel us to consider: What are the generative articulations between COVID-19 and our objects of study? What are the impacts of COVID-19 on the people within our field, and the politics and practices of our work within this potentially transformative moment? What are the new noticings, reflections, imaginings that COVID-19 is prompting within our field?
If this call for chapters interests you, please email each member of the editorial team (David Andrews [firstname.lastname@example.org], Holly Thorpe [email@example.com], and Joshua Newman [firstname.lastname@example.org]) with a 200-300 words proposal for your chapter, including your thoughts on how you would incorporate two (or more) of the themes above in your proposal. Your questions are also very welcome to any/all of the editorial team.