Call for Participation | Online Workshop: ‘Rethinking Internationalism through Sport’ | 30 April 2021, 10am–4pm (UK time)

Officials of the 1st Olympic Committee in 1896, Coubertin seated left.

This one-day workshop will discuss how international sport can deepen our understanding of internationalism. With broad focus on theories of international relations, nationhood, and political projects of identity, the workshop will bring sport into historical conversations about the central ideologies and processes of internationalism. Specifically, it will rethink the scope of internationalism as a political and cultural concept. Acknowledging that the defining characters of internationalism have been contingent on the time, location, and purpose of their creation, this workshop invites its participants to explore the agencies of a large number of ideologues: political leaders, commercial sponsors, revolutionaries, intellectuals, journalists and so on. Looking at, within, and beyond the nation-state, it will deploy sport as a means to problematise the origins, imaginations, enactment, and legacies of internationalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In doing so, the workshop is expected to raise new questions about imperialism, colonialism, race, gender, and related forms of identity-making processes.


Panel 1

10.00-10.40 Simon Rofe (SOAS) – TBA

10.40-11.20 Stefan Rinke (Free University Berlin) – Internationalism against All Odds: The First Football World Cup in Uruguay 1930

11.20-12.00 Geoff Levett (British Society of Sports History) – Britain and the Sporting World: The Breakdown of International Relations in Rugby Union in the 1930s

Panel 2

13.00-13.40 Matt McDowell (University of Edinburgh) – Small-island (inter)nationalism and the Island Games

13.40-14.20 Heather Dichter (De Montfort University) – No Flags and Anthems: Rowing’s World Championship Policy

14.20-15.00 Souvik Naha (Durham University) – Cricket, Cultural Diplomacy, and the End of the British Empire in South Asia, 1945-1950

15.00-16.00 Open discussion

Please use the following link to register:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Prof Kay Schiller
Dr Souvik Naha
Department of History, Durham University

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