Sport: Probing the Boundaries

deadline for submissions: 
August 4, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Progressive Connexions

1st Global Symposium
Sport: Probing the Boundaries

Inaugural Meeting of The International Association for the Interdisciplinary Study of Sport

Saturday 2nd December 2017 – Sunday 3rd December 2017
Vienna, Austria

Modern sport is an inherently interdisciplinary activity.  As a social phenomenon sport “intersects with nearly everyone’s life in some manner, as participant, observer, fan, critic, parent, or consumer” (Chatziefstathiou & Talentino, 2015).  Sport therefore functions as ‘a key space for the construction of identity, belonging and community, a place where meaning-making is shaped and embedded.’ (Howley & Dun, 2016).

In addition to personal interest, sport has significant political, economic, and social impacts – both beneficial and harmful – that lead to critical questions about the role sport plays in our daily lives, who it benefits, the equity of sport at both recreational and elite levels, its impact on social development, and the role of business – within local and global contexts – to name just a few.  These questions, and the very relevant implications they have for policymakers at the international, national, and municipal levels in all countries cannot be effectively addressed through a single critical lens.  The study of sport therefore demands interdisciplinary attention.

The symposium will also be a launch event for the inaugural meeting of The International Association for the Interdisciplinary Study of Sport, an organization that aims to establish a global network of interdisciplinary sport scholars and practitioners.

This symposium aims to bring together a community of scholars and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines and industries – sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, history, politics, urban studies, geography, psychology, sport science, and sports management – who are interested in exploring the significance and meaning of sport within modern societies and who would like to make a contribution to an inter-disciplinary understanding of sport in the twenty first century.

Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation
The call for abstracts includes a wide range of categories and because of the interdisciplinary focus is not limited to the list below:

  • Sport and social identity
  • Ontology of sport
  • Ethics and sport
  • Commerce and sport
  • Sport and space
  • Sport and popular culture
  • Sport and fandom/celebrity cultures
  • Commerce and sport
  • Mega-events and sport
  • Politics and sport
  • History and modern sport
  • Issues in sport science

In addition, the symposium schedule includes workshop sessions focusing on collaborative research opportunities and channels for publication, including a proposed academic journal.

What’s so special about Progressive Connexions events?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic, format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off powerpoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them. 

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are history-laden and suited to the event. And for a little bit of extra magic, during our December 2017 conferences in Vienna, you will be able to get into the holiday spirit by visiting the famous Christmas Markets which will be open at the time of our event! 

What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring together academics, professionals, practitioners, NGO’s, voluntary sector workers, in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, panels, q&a’s, etc.

300 word abstracts, proposals, presentations and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 4th August 2017. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Association Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 11th August 2017.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 17th November 2017.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Sport: Probing the Boundaries Abstract Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Andrea Talentino:
Project Administrator:

Conference Outcomes and Outputs
The events we organise form a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. The outcomes and ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from these is a dynamic response to the gatherings themselves. As our meetings are attended by people from different backgrounds, professions and vocations, the range of desirable outcomes are potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

We anticipate that some papers and contributions from the conference might contribute to a themed volume to be considered by the At The Interface/Probing the Boundaries series published by Brill, for whom Progressive Connexions director Dr Robert Fisher is Series Editor. Potential editors will be chosen from interested conference delegates.

Additional possible outputs include: open volume on-line annuals; social media outputs (Facebook pages, blogs, wikis, Twitter and so on); collaboration platforms; reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers; declarations of principles; proposals for future meetings, workshops, courses and schools; proposals for personal and professional development opportunities (cultural travel, summer schools, personal enrichment programmes, faculty development, mentoring programmes, consultancies); other options you would like us to consider.

Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

For further details and information please visit the project website: