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.
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.
The history of Physical Culture this week with Dr Conor Heffernan of the University of Texas at Austin talking about his research into physical culture in Ireland in the twentieth century, as well as the history of weightlifting and the search for the 1000lb bench press.
There's chat about Sinn Fein's trash-talking of the English physique in the 1900s and an insight into the use of tennis balls and tight towels in power-lifting. You can also read his article on Irish body building at the excellent Playing Pasts website.
Olympic and Paralympic History on this week's podcast with a recording of an online symposium sponsored jointly by the British Library, the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University and the British Society for Sports History
The event was chaired by Dr. Raf Nicholson with four speakers talking about different aspects of researching the history of the Games.
Irish soccer history this week with Conor Heffernan talking to Dr Conor Curran, who is Dublin City Council's official football historian. Conor talks about his ground-breaking study of sport in Donegal which was publish as The Development of Sport in Donegal, 1880-1935 in 2015. He also talks about the oral histories he conducted when writing about the experience of Irish migrant football in the post-War years for his Irish Soccer Migrants: a Social and Cultural History, which was published in 2017.
Last chance to register for Documenting the Olympics and Paralympics a FREE event running this Friday 19th June at 3 pm GMT
In another short lockdown episode Helena Byrne drops in to talk about the British Library's upcoming symposium on Olympic and Paralympic History which will take place on Friday 19th June from 3pm to 4.30pm.
In a short episode Raf drops in to talk about the BSSH's 2020 Conference which this year will be an online event to be held on 26th-28th August. The conference features a keynote from previous podcast guest Prashant Kidambi as well as a round table on the future of sports history with a diverse line up of leading sports historians. Registration will be free and open to all interested parties, not just BSSH members.
This week it's the history of Indian cricket with Dr Prashant Kidambi of the University of Leicester.
His latest book, Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire, tells the story of the first All-India team to visit Britain in 1911 and much, much more.
This week on the podcast it's the history of black college basketball in the twentieth century with Raja Rahim, who is currently researching a PhD at the University of Florida.