BSSH annual Conference 2024

deadline for submissions: 
May 7, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
British Society of Sports History
contact email: 

Call For Papers

British Society of Sports History Annual Conference

Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester, Chichester, UK

Thursday 22nd August 2024 – Friday 23rd August 2024

This will be an open-themed conference. Submissions based on original research are welcomed by UK and overseas scholars and can relate to any aspect of sport, physical recreation, education and culture, as considered from a historical perspective.


  • Dr Alex Jackson (National Football Museum) - 2023 Lord Aberdare Prize Winner.
  • TBC - The Sir Derek Birley Memorial Lecture.


Abstracts are accepted as follows

  • Individual: a single abstract from an individual/ co-researchers for 20-minute presentations.
  • Proposed panel: a set of abstracts (ideally 3, or 4 maximum) submitted by a representative for a group of individuals/co-researchers examining a single topic or theme (session 90mins, including c.30 minutes questions/discussion).

Abstracts should be c.200 words, including

  • Full title: as it will appear in the conference programme.
  • Outline of the context and/or academic literature informing the research as appropriate; identification of core themes/argument of the paper and broad theoretical and/or methodological approach adopted as appropriate; significance of the research.
  • Also include your preferred name; affiliation; email address and a short biography (c.50 words).

Abstract submission deadline: Tuesday 7th May 2024. Abstracts must be emailed directly to Dr Paul Wheeler at and/or Max Portman at Please include your name within the subject line of the email.


If you need any guidance or assistance regarding your submission, please contact in the first instance, BSSH Equality, Diversity and Inclusion representative Dr Amanda Callan-Spenn (




The British Society of Sport History invites PhD students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) for a pre-conference workshop at the University of Chichester’s Bishop Otter Campus, Chichester on Wednesday 21st  August, directly preceding BSSH’s 2024 annual conference. Open to PhD students and early career researchers, who have submitted a paper to the main conference and/or who are interested in meeting with peers, the workshop serves as a dedicated research and networking forum. We hope, in particular, to present the work of a number of scholars who are new to the BSSH annual conference.


To ensure the session does not become overcrowded, the workshop is limited to twenty spaces. The workshop will take place from 10 am- 4.30 pm and will include a complimentary working lunch and refreshments during the day. Interested applicants should state their interest to Dr Andy Carter at by Wednesday 15th May 2024. PhD and ECR applicants are reminded that registration fees are not charged for them if they are presenting at the main conference and are not in full-time academic employment. Andy will be happy to answer any questions about this event.  


The workshop offers an excellent opportunity for PhD students and Early Career Researchers to learn about how to disseminate their work and bridge the gap between the realms of academic and public history through traditional and new forms in addition to a discussion on pathways to successfully making the step up from the PhD/ECR stage into full-term academic employment.


The British Society of Sports History exists to promote the study of the history of sport. Our work includes activities as diverse as encouragement of research within and beyond academic settings, support for the preservation of the sporting record, collaboration with the museum and heritage sector, promotion of the study of the history of sport in higher and further education as well as by those in secondary school, and engagement with the broader public media. As part of this promotion, we organise an annual conference and publish the journal Sport in History, as well as work with the broader sports history community to organise and support local and regional activities. Alongside these activities, we are building and supporting networks of post-graduate students and links with other social history groups.

The BSSH has members across the world, and we welcome anyone with an interest in the history of sport to our website and hope the material here is both interesting and useful for you. We are committed to sharing ideas, information and a passion for the study of the history of sport in a wide range of historical settings, and invite you to join us in these efforts.



If you wish to be considered for either of the below prizes, please indicate this when you submit your paper abstract.

Richard Cox Postgraduate Prize

This prize is awarded for the most promising work submitted by a new researcher in sports history. To be eligible, authors should be engaged in full-time or part-time postgraduate research or be within one year of completing their research degree. Co-authored papers will not be considered.

The written paper must be submitted to the conference organisers a month prior to the first day of the annual conference (July 22nd 2024). A panel of judges will be selected by the BSSH Committee which will assess both the content of the papers under consideration and the presentation.

While we encourage the submission of different kinds of papers, to be eligible for a prize, papers must be a maximum of 6,000 words. Style should be consistent throughout, i.e footnotes where appropriate, and a separate list of references. Text should be no smaller than size 12 Times New Roman and 1.5 or double spacing. Name and contact details of author, paper title, and a short abstract with keywords must also be included on a separate page (please follow Sport in History conventions).

The winning paper will be awarded £200, and the researcher will be invited to submit their paper to the Society’s peer-reviewed journal Sport in History.

Prize for Best Paper on Sporting Inequalities

Recognising the need to encourage research in new areas of sports history, the British Society of Sports History Committee is continuing to award a prize to reward outstanding work in one of the following under-researched areas:

  • Sport and people of the global majority, or underrepresented ethnic groups in the field.
  • Sport and LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Women and sport.
  • Disability in sport.

Papers should be largely focused on the British context. All eligible papers presented at the conference will be considered by a judging panel. There is no need to submit anything in advance.

The winning paper will be awarded £200, and the researcher will be invited to submit their paper to the Society’s peer-reviewed journal Sport in History.

Award of the Prizes

The winner of both prizes will be announced during the conference. Any questions concerning the Prizes should be sent to BSSH Vice-Chair, Dr Katie Taylor at


Conference Information


Registration will open shortly via the University of Chichester online store. Members will be informed when this is available.


  • Full delegate: £110 for both days / £60 for one day.
  • Retired/unwaged/ Postgrads & ECRs (not presenting): £60 for both days / £45 for one day.
  • Postgrads & ECRs presenting at the main conference (and who are not in a permanent academic role): Free.

BSSH will pay the conference fee for presenters who are students or within 3 years of completing a PhD and who do not hold a full-time academic post.

Please note all presenters must be BSSH members. Membership can be taken up at the time of registration (£40 full membership/£20 concession). To join, please visit:


Conference Dinner

The conference dinner will be held on the evening of Thursday 22nd August at the Harbour Hotel in Chichester. The cost for this will be approximately £45 per person.

The fee for the conference dinner will be waived for postgrads and ECRs who are presenting at the conference.


The University of Chichester is pleased to announce that there will be on-campus accommodation available for delegates on the University’s Bishop Otter Campus in Chichester where the conference is being held. This will cost £120 for two nightsand includes a complimentary breakfast served at the Campus’ Otters Restaurant. For those who wish to attend the PhD/ECR workshop before the main conference, on-campus accommodation will be available for the night before the workshop (20th August) for an additional £60. Please inform Paul Wheeler or Max Portman at the email addresses given above to ensure accommodation is secured. Partner accommodation providers will be suggested to all attendees.

Childcare Bursaries


This year, the BSSH is also offering a small number of bursaries of up to £100 to contribute towards the costs of childcare, or other caring responsibilities. These are open to those wishing to present and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like more details, please contact BSSH Vice Chair, Dr Katie Taylor (