CFP: Space, Place and Sport

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Space, Place and Sport
The Sport Project: Probing the Boundaries

Thursday 24th September – Saturday 26th September 2015
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Presentations:
Sport is a key space for controversies and issues over access and power. It is a key space for the construction of identity, belonging and community, a place for meaning-making. Every year sports events are hosted and won by communities and nation-states. Every year people do sports or watch sports in spaces: sports grounds, fields, back streets and parks. Every year, there is political struggle over funding that goes to the development of sports spaces, whether it is global events such as the World Cup, or informal spaces such as walking and cycling routes in national parks. For this conference, we invite academics, researchers, activists, theorists, policy-makers, journalists and practitioners to critically discuss and present interdisciplinary approaches to examining sport as a space in which tangible and intangible meanings, identities, development, engagement, and community are created. We are interested in interdisciplinary approaches to space, place and sport at the intersections of academic disciplines and subject fields, and invite contributions from academics who approach their work on space, place and sport through an inter-disciplinary lens. We especially welcome voices from beyond the academic boundaries, news from those involved in sport or writing about sport. We also include in that invitation those active in campaigns: for better access to spaces, for more spaces, as well as those fighting to save non-sports spaces from the hands of those who might want to turn them into sports facilities for mega-events.

The aim of this conference is to develop an active network of academics, practitioners and campaigners with an interest in sports geographies. By sports geographies we mean the ways in which we might understand sport as something that creates spaces and places, as well as something that is shaped by spaces and places. An inter-disciplinary sports geography is one that uses the relationship between sport, place and space to tell a story about the meaning of sport, the history of sport and the socio-cultural importance of sport: for example, about the relationship between Le Tour de France, landscapes and French identity. Themes within the conference include:

– Understanding the social and political potential of sport spaces – can sports spaces be places where social divisions are broken down? Who controls sports spaces?
– How sport intersect other spaces – cultures, communities, societies and nation-states
– Geographies of sporting bodies – the growth and development of sports organisations
– The meaning and purpose of sport spaces – what do people use sports spaces for?
– Conflicts over sports spaces – who gets access

We invite abstracts that discuss things like the relationship between sports teams in the context of the local/global debate; stadium architecture (gentrification, class and gendered space within stadia); sport spaces and urban planning; virtual sports; sports clubs and their community outreach initiatives (or relationship to their communities generally); variations in sporting practices and game rules across space and place; sport-driven nationalism as a sense of space and place; and sport as uniting force that breaks down the barriers of space and place.

We would also like to draw your attention to the Special Workshop on Sporting Mega-Events, International Sports Organisations and the Future of Sport which will be just before the conference this year. Details of which can be found here: Power and Corruption Wednesday 23rd September 2015, Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom.

What to Send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 1st May 2015. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 10th July 2015. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: SPORT4 Abstract Submission.

Organising Chairs:
Karl Spracklen:

Rob Fisher:

The conference is part of the Making Sense Of: programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All proposals accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected proposals may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.  The conference will also see the launch of the Sport: Probing the Boundaries journal, which will be published in 2016, and papers from the conference will be considered for the journal.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

For further details of the conference, please visit:


Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.