Although Nietzsche does not specifically discuss sports in his works, much of his writing and ideas revolve around sport-related themes such as competition, play, body and ‘askesis’, and ecstasy (or, the Dionysian). Competition, or agon, is a running theme in Nietzsche’s works; play or playfulness has intrigued the young Nietzsche since he became familiar with the pre-socratics, especially Heraclitus; the question of the body and all the related phenomena remain crucial to his works; and the Dionysian is a central concept from his first to one of his last published works. Furthermore, Nietzsche’s critique of Western experience of spectacle sheds light on sport spectacles and their problems in our age. Finally, we can view sports as fields of power and power relations and examine to what extent sport can be construed as an arena for the overhuman. How did Nietzsche view the sporting culture of the 19th century? How would he view our sporting culture today? This issue of The Agonist is dedicated to examining these and other sport related themes in Nietzsche and post-Nietzschean literature, including authors, thinkers, sport philosophers and movements influenced by his ideas.
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Abstract deadline: December 1, 2019 Essay deadline: April 1, 2020