Making Sport History: Disciplines, identities and the historiography of sport, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Making Sport History

Disciplines, identities and the historiography of sport, 1st Edition

Edited by Pascal Delheye


262 pages

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The field of sport history is a relatively new research domain, situated at the intersection of a number of disciplines and sub-disciplines.  This interdisciplinarity has created interesting avenues for growth and fresh thinking but also inherent problems of coherence and identity.   Making Sport History examines the development of an academic community around sport history, exploring the roots of the discipline, its current boundaries, borders and challenges, and looking ahead at future prospects.  Written by a team of world-leading sport historians, with commentaries from scholars working outside of the sport historical mainstream, the book considers key themes in the historiography of sport, including:


  • The relationship between history, sport studies and physical education
  • Comparative analysis of the role of historians in the writing of sport history
  • Modern and post-modern approaches to sport history
  • Race, gender and the sport historical establishment
  • The role of scholarly organisations, conferences and journals in discipline-building


Presenting new perspectives on what constitutes sport history and its core methodologies, the book helps explain why historians have become interested in sport, why they’ve chosen the topics they have, and how their work has influenced the wider world of history and been influenced by it.  Making Sport History is essential reading for any advanced student, scholar or researcher with an interest in sport history, historiography, or the history and philosophy of the social sciences.

Table of Contents

Introduction Pascal Delheye Part One: A Child with Different Mothers: Sport History between Physical Education and History 1. Sport Historiography? An Overview through the Eyes of a Physical Educator Roberta Park 2. Historians and the History of Sport Richard Holt Part Two: In Search of a Paradigm: Methodological Opportunities and Battles 3. History and Sport Studies: Some Methodological Reflections on Undergraduate Teaching Martin Polley 4. Sport History: Modern and Post-Modern Approaches Douglas Booth Part Three: Establishing a Scientific Community: Scholarly Organisations and Journals 5. Building a Sport History Community: Scholarly Organisations and Congresses Roland Renson 6. Finding the Path: Academic Journals in the Field of Sport History Thierry Terret Part Four: White Male Sport History: Tackling the Scientific Establishment 7. Mixed Fortunes in an Academic Environment: The Institutional Gendering of Sport History Patricia Vertinsky 8. Imperialism, Race and the History of Sport Peter Horton Part Five: Commentaries: Views from the Outside 9. Making Sport History: A Commentary Allen Guttmann 10. Making Histories: Sport, Science and Medicine Vanessa Heggie 11. Which Place for the History of Sport? Geert Vanpaemel Epilogue John Nauright

About the Editor

Pascal Delheye studied physical education, sport management and history. His doctoral research, for which he won the Young Investigators Award of the European College of Sport Science in 2003, focused on the academization of physical education. After postdoctoral research at the universities of Leuven and Berkeley, he became head of the Research Centre for the History of Sport and Kinesiology at KU Leuven in 2008. After an internal reorganization in 2012, he has broadened his focus to sport policy within the newly founded Policy in Sports and Physical Activity Research Group. He is also coordinator of the courses in sport management and dance.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Sports History

The Routledge Research in Sports History series presents leading research in the development and historical significance of modern sport through a collection of historiographical, regional and thematic studies which span a variety of periods, sports and geographical areas. Showcasing ground-breaking, cross-disciplinary work from established and emerging sport historians, the series provides a crucial contribution to the wider study of sport and society. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Social History