Call for Papers: Conference on Sport and Society in Transnational Contexts, 5–6 June, 2015, ETH Zürich, Switzerland


Over the years, academics have widely discussed and written about the critical influence of sports on social formations. Although in most of the works sport has been situated in national/local contexts, the existing and increasing global dynamics of sport have not gone unnoticed. During the 1970s, scholars began thinking about international diffusion of Western sports, and gradually concepts such as sportization, mundialization, Americanization or American capitalist hegemony, and modernization started doing rounds in sport academia. Subsequently scholars pondered looking beyond frameworks of cultural hegemony and explored diffusion and appropriation as interdependent processes – complex ‘local–global nexuses’ that tend to produce hybrid sport and broader cultural codes. Quite possibly, sport has become ‘so central to our contemporary moment’s blend of transnational cultural industrialization and textualization that it does more than reflect the global – sport is big enough to modify our very use of the term “globalization”’ (Miller et al., 2001). This is reflected in the recent works on global networks of sport that embrace cultural transfer, sponsorship, migration, mega-event, fandom and media among other issues. This conference aims to bring together academics from a wide range of disciplines to expand our conceptual understanding of sport’s international dimensions, particularly the flows and circulations of historical processes at the sites of production and consumption within a connected space of interaction. We invite papers which focus on, but are not limited to, the following themes:

    1. The functions of nation-states and other establishments in initiating and mediating sport codes.
    2. New models of analyzing circulation and appropriation of particular sports.
    3. The agency of intermediary individuals within or outside institutions that promote transnational sport.
    4. The processes of recasting sporting discourses through visual and textual constructions.
    5. Transformation of sport through transactions between dispensers and absorbers.
    6. Simultaneous multiple production of modern sport across diverse sites, and subsequent configuration of their contemporary forms.

The conference committee welcomes abstracts of 200-250 words for 20 minute presentations. Please send your abstract and a brief biography (not more than 200 words) to Souvik Naha at by 31 October 2014. Female and early career researchers are particularly encouraged to participate.

We do not guarantee travel and accommodation bursaries at this stage. Registration information will follow once we learn the outcomes of funding applications.

The conference proceedings will be published as a special issue of Sport in Society in 2016.

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