Dr. David L. Andrews (University of Maryland) will be presenting “Conjunction-Articulation-Assemblage: Theorizing Trump’s Sporting America” for the Iowa Colloquium on Sport and Culture this Friday, May 6that 4:00 CST [for other time zones, click here]. The online and zoomified event is free and open to the public. There will be lots of time for discussion after the talk, and we are looking forward to sharing some ideas.
Please show up so we can continue to convince our university to give us money to host these exciting speakers.
Please register for the event at the link below: https://uiowa.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwrc-ihqToiG9JvmG-kFLPqfJH0R_Z6nNty
Through a commitment to a Jamesonian “political perspective… as the absolute horizon of all reading and all interpretation”, and the summary adoption of “ideological analysis” as its “critical ‘method’” (Jameson, 2002), this presentation looks to interrupt what I contend is sport’s continued, and largely undisturbed, role as a multi-faceted agent of macro-political normalization and reproduction within the U.S. At the core of this argument is a novel way of conceptualizing the nature of the relationship between sport and politics. Utilizing a synthesis of conjunctural cultural studies and assemblage theory (DeLanda, 2006, 2016; Grossberg, 2010), this analysis engages both sport and politics as contingent assemblages (Bennett, 2005; DeLanda, 2016). The sport assemblage is, and always has been, unavoidably implicated with the ideological orientations, and associated affective investments, of the prevailing political (and, indeed, allied economic, cultural, and technological) assemblage. Hence, the politicization of sport is both unavoidable, and a vivid example of how assemblages are made and re-made, affected and affecting, through manifold collisions, overlappings, and interferences with one another (Farias, 2010). This point is elucidated through recourse to the “political-cultural work” (Clarke, 2016) mobilized by the Trump project (broadly construed) in articulating various aspects of contemporary U.S. sport culture to what is a radical right wing political project (Mudde, 2017), incorporating enmeshed elements of nationalism, militarism, nativism, neoliberalism, and conservatism. Thus, my aim is to offer a critical reading of the Trump campaign, and subsequent administration’s, strategic mobilization of sport referents and thematics, as part of the process of delineating the political-cultural boundaries of Trump’s America.
David L. Andrews is a Professor in the Physical Cultural Studies research area in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland. He is also an affiliate faculty member in the Department of American Studies, and the Department of Sociology. Dr. Andrews’ research interests center on contextualizing sport and physical culture in relation to the intersecting cultural, political, economic, and technological forces shaping contemporary society. Recent books include Making Sport Great Again?: The Uber-Sport Assemblage, Neoliberalism, and the Trump Conjuncture (2019, Palgrave), and Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body: Materialisms, Technologies, Ecologies (edited with Joshua Newman and Holly Thorpe, Rutgers University Press, 2020)