Deconstructing Sport History

A Postmodern Analysis

Edited by Murray G. Phillips
Foreword by Alun Munslow

Subjects: Cultural Studies
Series: SUNY series on Sport, Culture, and Social Relations
Paperback : 9780791466100, 274 pages, November 2005
Hardcover : 9780791466094, 274 pages, November 2005

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Table of contents

Alun Munslow
Introduction: Sport History and Postmodernism
Murray G. Phillips
Part One: On Theory
1. Sport Historians: What Do We Do? How Do We Do It?
Douglas Booth
2. Sport History between the Modern and Postmodern
Brett Hutchins
3. A Linguistic Turn into Sport History
Michael Oriard
Part Two: On Practice
4. Partial Knowledge: Photographic Mystifications and Constructions of “The African Athlete”
John Bale
5. Anecdotal Evidence: Sport, the Newspaper Press, and History
Jeffrey Hill
6. Wasn’t It Ironic? The Haxey Hood and the Great War
Catriona M. Parratt
7. Decentering “Race” and (Re)presenting “Black” Performance in Sport History: Basketball and Jazz in American Culture, 1920-1950
Steven W. Pope
Part Three: On the Future
8. Beyond Traditional Sports Historiography: Toward a Historical “Holograph”
Robert E. Rinehart
9. Contact with God, Body, and Soul: Sport History and the Radical Orthodoxy Project
Synthia Sydnor
10. Time Gentlemen Please: The Space and Place of Gender in Sport History
Patricia Vertinsky
Murray G. Phillips
List of Contributors
SUNY Series on Sport, Culture, and Social Relations

Presents a broad spectrum of critical approaches that question traditional sport history.


This groundbreaking collection challenges the accepted principles and practices of sport history and encourages sport historians to be more adventurous in their representations of the sporting past in the present. Encompassing a wide range of critical approaches, leading international sport historians reflect on theory, practice, and the future of sport history. They survey the field of sport history since its inception, examine the principles that have governed the production of knowledge in sport history, and address the central concerns raised by the postmodern challenge to history. Sharing a common desire to critique contemporary practices in sport history, the contributors raise the level of critical analysis of the production of historical knowledge, provide examples of approaches by those who have struggled with or adapted to the postmodern challenge, and open up new avenues for future sport historians to follow.

Murray G. Phillips is Senior Lecturer in the School of Human Movement Studies at The University of Queensland, Australia. He is the author of From Sidelines to Centre Field: A History of Sports Coaching in Australia.