Reaching the Summit: Reimaging the Summit Series in the Canadian Cultural Memory

deadline for submissions: 
April 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Brittany Reid, Taylor McKee, and Andrew Pettit

Call for Papers:

Reaching the Summit: Reimagining the Summit Series in the Canadian Cultural Memory

The year 2022 marks the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series. This hockey series, played between Canada and the former Soviet Union, has become the subject of Canadian cultural mythmaking since Paul Henderson’s winning goal for Canada during game eight. In Home Game: Hockey and Life in Canada (1989), Ken Dryden and Roy MacGregor identified the Summit Series as a uniquely “Canadian memory” and marked 1972 as a “coming of age” for Canada as a nation (195).

Now, over thirty years since Dryden and MacGregor observed its significance, the Summit Series has continued to pervade broader sporting and cultural discourse in Canada. Despite the fact that younger generations today experience the Series as a received cultural inheritance, efforts to memorialize it continue to appear in many forms. For example, filmic treatments, such as Summit on Ice (1996) or Cold War on Ice: Summit Series ’72 (2012), attempted to visually recreate the series’ material realities. Within the world of hockey, events such as the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge, which was intended to mark the series’ fortieth anniversary, have been hosted. Finally, the 1972 Canadian Men’s Hockey Team was honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2012 and an official Canada Post stamp in 2017, two tributes intended to reaffirm their staying power as national icons. As Dryden and MacGregor asserted in 1989, when it comes to the Summit Series, “the specifics of memory do not deliver the resonance of the feeling that lingers” (194). However, the Summit Series continues to occupy a seemingly heightened role in the Canadian cultural consciousness, despite its relative temporal distance now fifty years later.

Our proposed collection will explore the role of the 1972 Summit Series in persisting conceptions of Canadian self-identification. In doing so, we attempt to critically contribute to the existing body of scholarship regarding the summit series, including the collection Coming Down the Mountain: Rethinking the 1972 Summit Series (2014) and many other works. Our project seeks to create a new approach to this seminal event in Canadian sport history by assembling a concert of voices through diverse forms of criticism or storytelling modes.

To accomplish this, we will collectively employ the principles of Bricolage, which is defined by Claude Lévi-Strauss as “the processes by which…societies construct language and myth” (Levi-Strauss, 1966). Elaborating on this approach, Jacques Derrida explained that bricolage therefore constitutes “the activity of borrowing from one’s own textual heritage whatever is needed to produce new and different texts, with an emphasis on intertextual borrowing for the purpose of textual construction” (Derrida, 1997, 15).

In twenty-first-century scholarship, bricolage has evolved into an important methodology that has the potential to recover lost narratives, better facilitate interdisciplinary or multimodal research, and produce fundamentally innovative research that is open to a greater plurality of viewpoints. According to Kathleen S. Berry (2006), “At a time when the discourses of emancipation, inclusiveness, social justice, plurality, multiplicity, diversity, complexity, and chaos are entering academic circles and mainstream communication media, a way of incorporating these discourses and their complimentary practices requires new research questions, tools, processes, and ways of reporting. Bricolage offers the potential to do so” (88).

Our use of bricolage as the guiding principle behind this collection is reflected in this call for submissions. We invite proposals for critical and/or creative works, developed in response to the 1972 Summit Series. Proposed submissions can take the form of traditional critical chapters that interrogate the received cultural memory of the tournament. These proposed articles can reimagine the Summit Series by applying critical lenses, including identity, gender, socioeconomics, politics, or nationhood. Furthermore, our goal to create an interdisciplinary collection means that submissions from across sport studies, including politics, history, sociology, literature, sociology, law, psychology, or management, are highly encouraged.

Furthermore, in keeping with the guiding principles of bricolage, we seek to follow the “trail of memory” left behind from the Summit Series and recapture a multiplicity of new, or long-overlooked, perspectives (Dryden and MacGregor, 1989, 193). To that end, in addition to critical article submissions, we also welcome non-traditional engagement with our collection’s theme. These submissions can entail a broad array of forms, such as original artwork, photography, poetry, prose, biography, interviews, journals, letters, formal recollections, or other forms of remembrance. It is our sincere hope that this mixed method will allow us to draw together a collage of critical and creative viewpoints on the evolving legacy of the “series of the century.”

We are excited to announce that this collection will be published under the Journal of Emerging Sport Studies' new imprint: JESS Press. The final publication will be available as a hard copy, and as an open-source ebook. 

Please submit a proposal (500-word maximum) along with a brief bio (50 words max) to Brittany Reid, Taylor McKee, and Andrew Pettit at summitseries2022@gmail.com by April 30th, 2021.

Final critical chapters should be 6500-9000 words, including notes and citations. Creative or alternative submissions are not required to adhere to this word count, so please include projected word count in your proposal. All completed submissions will be blind peer-reviewed prior to publication.

Feel free to contact the editors if you have any questions, and we look forward to your submissions.