1st Global Conference: Probing the Boundaries: Sport

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Rob Fisher/ Inter-Disciplinary.Net

1st Global Conference
Probing the Boundaries: Sport

Wednesday 7th November – Friday 9th November 2012
Salzburg, Austria

"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that".
(Bill Shankly, Football Manager)

With 2012 seeing both the Olympic Games in being held in London, the United Kingdom, and the European Football Championships taking place in Poland and the Ukraine, examining the ways that sports effect and intersect with the many layers of modern life would seem compelling. As such these events, through various levels of participation and spectatorship, provoke cohesion and discord in almost equal amounts and involve huge amounts of money, not just for the individual sportsman but the economic infrastructure that goes alongside it. Consequently there are few things in contemporary society which arose such strong emotions and affiliations.

"no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."
(Article 51, International Olympic Committee charter)

Certain sports involve and turnover huge amounts of money and sports stars become media celebrities and role models in their own right. Yet such vast rewards necessarily cause those very same stars to take drugs and cheat to achieve the excellence that such events demand. Subsequently sport is both chimeric and dichotomous being seen as a social good, something which brings people together for a common purpose, provides a sense of security and belonging, and enjoyment and excitement; and for participants a sense of fulfillment, well-being and physical fitness. yet on the other hand provoking negative reactions from people in communities affected by the demolishing of homes to make way for facilities for mega sports event; by sports journalists weary of the doping and the match-fixing and the behaviour of elite athletes; by fans sickened by the way their sports have become tainted with the evil of global commerce; and by scholars and others critical of the importance given to sport in modern times.

"Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting."
(George Orwell)

This project aims to bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines – sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, history, political studies, urban studies, geography, and psychology and sport science – who are interested in exploring the Janus face of sport, to try to better understand the status of sport in our everyday lives. The project is for cheerleaders of sport, critics of sport, and all those in-between who are interested in exploring the Janus face of sport, to try to better understand the status of sport in our everyday lives.

● Sport and individual, social and national identity identity
● Ontology and ideology of sport
● Ethics and cheating
● What constitutes a 'sport" and should certain sports be banned?
● Anti-sport social movement
● Commercialization, globalisation and the branding of sport
● Sport and place, participation and spectatorship
● Problems in sport science
● History of modern sport and the place of sport in history
● Measuring the value of sport
● Sport and popular culture
● Sports people as celebrities and role-models
● The politics of sport and sport in politics
● Sports fandom, identification and engagement

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 15th June 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper or outlibe of the presentation should be submitted by Friday 3rd August 2012.

300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: SPORT Abstract Submission.

Joint Organising Chairs:
Karl Spracklen: K.Spracklen@leedsmet.ac.uk
Rob Fisher: sport1@inter-disciplinary.net

For further details of the project, please visit:

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.