Emerging from the ‘history from below’ movement, sport history was marginalised for decades by those working within more traditional historical fields (and institutions). Although a degree of ignorance still exists, sport history has now acquired a level of credibility through the dedicated work of professional historians. And yet, as this authority has been established, changes to UK higher education funding (the removal of direct state funding, the Research Excellence Framework, and tuition fees) and academic publishing (open access) have the potential to damage, or even end, sports research.
This book examines sport history from a variety of perspectives. Do mainstream historians need to engage, or ‘play’, with sports historians? Has the postmodernist ‘cultural turn’ in sports history been helpful to the sub-discipline? How can the teaching of sports studies be more innovative and inspiring? How can oral history and sport history be utilised in the study of other branches of historical interest. Although changes are required in dealing with the current political reality of UK higher education, sport history still has a great deal to offer students, future employers and the public alike.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.