Novel Insights into Sports History

A special issue of Histories (ISSN 2409-9252). This special issue belongs to the section "Historiography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 24 December 2024 | Viewed by 135

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Independent Researcher, Crewe CW1 5UU, UK
Interests: sports history

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sports historians have traditionally adopted an empiricist approach to their research, interrogating surviving sources of the past and piecing them together systematically; however, this methodology has increasingly come under criticism from those who point out that sources such as archives have inbuilt biases. The result has been a more pragmatic attitude to research, which recognises that imagination and inventiveness are integral to creating an historical narrative and that there is no single way of conducting historical enquiry. At the end of the day, the approach taken is a matter of personal choice and there are several ways in which researchers might usefully evolve beyond the traditional sports history narrative. One way is to change the format, what Munslow calls ‘modes of expression’, in which sports history can be presented. The mode of expression selected by the historian reflects their epistemological, methodological, and professional orientation towards how they think they can best know the truthful meaning of the past [1]. This could be spoken, or written, a fixed or moving image, or a gesture, a myth, a legend, a fable, a tale, a novella, a history, an epic, a mime, a film, a comic, a postcard, a performance, a street theatre performance, a conversation, or a painting. Another way in which sports history might develop further is by being more explicit about its theoretical underpinnings. Booth criticised sports historians for a failure to engage more extensively with theory [2], although every historian implicitly employs theoretical concepts, such as modernization, hegemony, feminism, globalization, and discourse, to help them frame questions and analyse their findings even if they often do not directly address how they utilise and adapt those theories in their research outputs.

Papers for this special issue can address any aspect of the writing and researching of sports history, including, but certainly not limited to:

  • A topic that has not yet been addressed in the historiography. This might, for example, include a regional or local study, or a sporting activity that has been overlooked;
  • A population that has been ignored or is under-represented in the historiography, for example, women as coaches, young people, indigenous groups, or disabled participants;
  • The use of an innovative methodology or a mixed methods approach that takes the study of sports history beyond the descriptive;
  • The exposure of new sources and their use in developing the field;
  • The incorporation of theoretical perspectives into sports history research;
  • The use of a different mode of expression other than straightforward text in the presentation of sports history research. This might include film, scripts for plays, artistic impressions, creative writing, or any number of other alternative outputs.

If you think you have something novel to present and are interested in submitting a paper please contact Dr Dave Day, the editor for this special issue, at [email protected] to discuss your proposal. Agreed papers would be expected to be submitted for the first round of reviews by the end of December 2024.


[1] Munslow, Alan. Narrative and History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 64–65.

[2] Booth, Douglas. The Field: Truth and Fiction in Sport History (Abingdon: Routledge, 2005), 210.

Prof. Dr. Dave Day
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Histories is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • modes of expression
  • theoretical perspectives
  • novel approaches
  • sources
  • methodology

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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