Call for Papers | ‘Women in Sport’ | University of Worcester, UK, November 2021. Call ends May 1, 2021

With regret WHN West Midlands Region annual Women’s History Conference at the University of Worcester in conjunction with the British Society of Sports History scheduled for November 7 2020 has been postponed until November 2021. (Exact date TBC.)

The last decade has seen an upsurge in female participation in sport, with girls and women becoming more visible as participants at grassroots level and celebrated for their competitive achievements at elite level.

However, it is true to say that female equality in sport has not yet been achieved. It is also well known that girls and women have not always found it easy to pursue their sporting aspirations. For example, female participation in track and field events has been contested throughout the twentieth century and, in the UK, women have struggled to find funding from national governing bodies to facilitate professional playing careers in team sports such as football, cricket and rugby. Historically all of these pursuits have evolved as the preserves of men: deemed ‘fit’ for the development of manly character and physique, yet pronounced unsuitable for females due to societal demands for the development of feminine attributes.

Even though there is much historical evidence to suggest that girls and women were prohibited, restricted and marginalized in the sporting realm, a swell of recent research suggests that as attitudes changed during the twentieth century, females from all walks of life determined to avail themselves of opportunities to play – at school, through the workplace or independently during their leisure time.

“Mega events” like the Olympic Games always command much public and academic attention, however, this conference seeks to take a more rounded view of women’s sporting experiences historically. We welcome submissions about all aspects of female participation, whether focused on elite or recreational concerns, Olympic or otherwise.

Confirmed papers for November 2021 will address the Scottish long-distance runner, Dale Greig; Women’s Football, 1916-1921; Elizabeth II and the Olympic Games and Founder of the Liverpool Physical Training College, Irene Mabel Marsh.

The keynote address will be delivered by Prof. Matthew Taylor, De Montfort University and Dr Rafaelle Nicholson, Bournemouth University who will consider Sport and the Home Front in the Second World War.

The call for papers for November 2021 is re-opened. We welcome submissions about all aspects of female participation in sport, whether focused on elite or recreational concerns, Olympic or otherwise.

Please send an abstract of 300 words to Dr Wendy Toon by 01 May 2021.

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