Jun 3, 2006

"It is important that these stories are told" [LINK]

After all these years, SUNY Press continues to crank out titles examining the intersection of postmodernism and sport. From SUNY Press's Spring 2006 catalog, promotional text for From Ballroom to DanceSport: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Body Culture, by Caroline Joan S. Picart:

Drawing on recent media portrayals and her own experience, author and dancer Caroline Joan S. Picart explores ballroom dancing and its more "sporty" equivalent, DanceSport, suggesting that they are reflective of larger social, political, and cultural tensions. The past several years have seen a resurgence in the popularity of ballroom dance as well as an increasing international anxiety over how and whether to transform ballroom into an Olympic sport. Writing as a participant-critic, Picart suggests that both are crucial sites where bodies are packaged as racialized, sexualized, nationalized, and classed objects. In addition, Picart argues, as the choreography, costuming, and genre of ballroom and DanceSport continue to evolve, these theatrical productions are aestheticized and constructed to encourage commercial appeal, using the narrative frame of the competitive melodrama to heighten audience interest.
But perhaps SUNY's enthusiasm for this subject is on the wane. This one was buried as a small item in the Fall 2006 catalog, but it piqued my interest, so I found the full text on their site:
National Identity and Global Sports Events looks at the significance of international sporting events and why they generate enormous audiences worldwide. Focusing on the Olympic Games and the men's football (soccer) World Cup, the contributors examine the political, cultural, economic, and ideological influences that frame these events. Selected case studies include the 1936 Nazi Olympics in Berlin, the 1934 World Cup Finals in Italy, the unique case of the 1972 Munich Games, the transformative 1984 Games in Los Angeles, and the 2002 Asian World Cup Finals, among others. The case studies show how the Olympics and the World Cup Finals provide a basis for the articulation of entrenched and dominant political ideologies, encourage persisting senses of national identity, and act as barometers for the changing ideological climate of the modern and increasingly globalized contemporary world. Through rigorous scholarly analyses, the book's contributors help to illuminate the increasing significance of large-scale sporting events on the international stage.
Finally, here's a fun one from August 2005, Feminist Sport Studies: Sharing Experiences of Joy and Pain, edited by Pirkko Markula:
This book highlights the development of feminist sport studies through personal narratives of prominent feminist sport researchers from North America, Europe, and New Zealand. With expertise in sport history, literature, psychology, and sociology, contributors offer reflections that cross disciplinary boundaries and provide a concise and current summary of this broad field.

In relaying their personal research experiences, contributors intertwine their professional and personal selves in stories that highlight the struggles of sport feminists, struggles that shaped the self and constructed feminist knowledge of sport. They tell about the academic context for feminist research in sport studies, the feelings and experiences of being women researchers in a male-dominated field, and internal doubts and disappointments after vilification of their work. The narrative style makes this book accessible to a wide variety of audiences and a suitable reference and/or text for sport science history and research methods courses.

"This book records the struggles and successes of a group of academics who have had a profound influence; it is important that these stories are told."
-- Sheila Scraton, coeditor of Gender and Sport: A Reader

As yet, no comments: