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Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).

Sport and Leisure History Seminar with Clare Tebbutt

The ‘man-woman athlete’ was frequently evoked in the 1930s British popular press. These were, for the most part, athletes who had competed in women’s sport, but later realised themselves to be men, such as Mark Weston and Zdenek Koubek. Given the current furore about the limits of sex segregation in professional sport, it is illuminating to look back to the debates that were occurring at the point when women’s sport was gaining a professional footing and how, then as now, appeals to science were used to explain the application of cultural and social standards to cast doubt upon athletes' bodies.

Read more Sport and Leisure History Seminar with Clare Tebbutt

Sport and Leisure History Seminar with Geoff Swallow

At our next Sport & Leisure History seminar we have Geoff Swallow of Manchester Metropolitan Univeristy talking about a fascinating contest between the English swimmers John Arthur Jarivs and Jseph 'Joey' Nuttal in 1901. Geoff's paper puts their contest into the context of the growth of national and international competition in the pool and looks at their rivalry from a unique angle. Join us for a stimulating Zoom event.

Read more Sport and Leisure History Seminar with Geoff Swallow

Sport in History Podcast 53 – Prof Dil Porter and the Corinthians

And we're back! After a break following the British Society of Sports History's virtual Conference the Sport in History podcast returns with an interview with Professor Dilwyn Porter of De Montfort University, who talks about his latest book, English Gentlemen and World Soccer: Corinthians, Amateurism and the Global Game which he has co-authored with Dr Chris Bolsmann.

He talks about the Corinthians, an amateur club whose reputation has been inflated over the years to epitomise the spirit of amateurism that informed the thinking of the English middle class sporting élite in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We chat about the extent to which the club's reputation has been manipulated by club historians and also the way in which the Corinthians' overseas tours fitted into a developing sporting globalisation in the Edwardian era and beyond.

Read more Sport in History Podcast 53 – Prof Dil Porter and the Corinthians

Sport in History Podcast 52 – BSSH Conference 2020 Round Table on the Future of Sports History

The final podcast from the BSSH 2020 Conference with a round table discussion on the future of Sports History. On the panel are Dr Christienna Fryar of Goldsmiths, University of London, Dr Geoff Levett, editor of the Sport in History podcast, Dr Carol Osborne of Sporting Heritage and Prof Kay Schiller, the Editor-in-Chief of the BSSH's journal Sport in History.

The four panellists give brief opening remarks on future directions for research areas in British sports history, as well as thinking through how historians of sport can use new methodologies, and develop partnerships to increase their reach among the wider public.

The greater part of the session is then handed over to the delegates to make comments on the panellists' presentations and discuss their own ideas on the position of Sports History now and reflect on how we can advance the cause of our discipline within the academy.

Read more Sport in History Podcast 52 – BSSH Conference 2020 Round Table on the Future of Sports History

Sport in History Podcast 50 – BSSH Conference 2020 Keynote with Prashant Kidambi

It's the keynote in the fourth instalment from the BSSH 2020 Conference as we hear previous podcast guest Dr Prashant Kidambi deliver a wide-ranging Sir Derek Birley Memorial lecture on the writing of sports history. Informed by CLR James's classic text Beyond the Boundary Prashant discusses the boundary in sports history - both as a literal dividing line and as a metaphor for ways of thinking about sports relationship to wider events.

Read more Sport in History Podcast 50 – BSSH Conference 2020 Keynote with Prashant Kidambi

Sport in History Podcast 49 – The Writing of History at the BSSH Conference 2020

The Writing of HIstory is the subject of the third panel from the BSSH's 2020 Conference, chaired by Dr Nick Piercey, with a wide ranging discussion between scholars researching in a variety of fields.

In A ‘better attendance than usual’: Deconstructing the History of Sport and Recreation at Port Sunlight Samuel Clevenger of Towson University questions the benevolence of model communities and whether workers engaged in organised recreation as much as is assumed by conventional narratives.

Dr Alex Jackson, in The uses of nostalgia and reminiscence in English football writing during WW1, interrogates the way in which nostalgia and 'reminuisance' (!) is a phenomenon of times of crisis, including our own.

Sarah Hardstaff of the University of Cambridge looks at Identity, Representation and Coming-of-Age in Football Fiction for Children and the way in which representations of footballers influenced, and influences, who can be conceived of as footballers in the public imagination.

Read more Sport in History Podcast 49 – The Writing of History at the BSSH Conference 2020