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A special issue of Sport History Review will focus on issues in “transnational” sport history to understand the process of cultural exchange between and/ or across nations where the primary and explicit aim is one of equitable, open and free exchange. Scholars in the social sciences have over time come to develop a more nuanced and enlightened view of what a nation is – i.e. beyond merely political-defined borders – and how national identity is understood and transmitted through cultural messages and representations. As historians continue to grapple with critical issues related to “the nation” – e.g. the globalization of culture, media and business in the light of new technologies; colonization, neo-colonization and post-colonial politics; international politics; and nationalism, jingoism and xenophobia – sport has emerged as a key focus point for analyses. Sport – defined broadly to incorporate the myriad of leisure and recreation activities – is now understood to be an important platform from which to understand, and an important vehicle for the transmission of messages about, nations and their people in a collective sense; how representatives of nations view and understand themselves and those of other nations, and how nations, broadly speaking, relate to one another through sport as a vehicle to transmit certain cultural, social and political ideologies (Giulianotti & Robertson 2007; Taylor 2013).


Original research is encouraged on, but not limited to, the following:

  • Critical analyses of the role of sporting exchanges in processes of nation building across borders
  • Sport as a vehicle for emphasizing and politicizing cultural distinctions and representations between nations (perhaps set in broader social, political and religious contexts)
  • Articles related to sport history that build and enhance the debate around terminology (e.g. “transnational”, “international”, “globalized” sport)
  • Comparative historical analyses of race, gender and/or class relations, played out in sporting exchanges across/between nations
  • Sport and identity politics across/between nations from an historical perspective
  • Historical-based sport media analyses across/between nations
  • Performativity in sport (incl. playing styles) analysed through a transnational lens
  • Comparative analyses of coaching and talent development structures in a transnational context
  • Issues in indigenous sport where connections exist across/between nations (e.g. Indigenous Games)
  • Comparative critical analyses of the sportization process (the incipient development of sport) across/between nations
  • Issues in sport history within specific transnational contexts, e.g.:
    • Transatlantic, transpacific, borderlands
    • Trans-European, trans-Asian, trans-American (North/South/Central), trans-African, trans-Australian/Australasian
  • Issues in sport history within a specific nation, e.g. Trans-Canadian, Trans-American or Trans-Australian
  • New insights into sport and colonial/neo-colonial relations within a transnational context
  • The politicized use of sportsmen/women as national/cultural ambassadors
  • Historical perspectives on sport for development (from a transnational perspective)


Guest Editors invite the submission of abstracts (maximum 500 words) outlining the intended topic to Robert J. Lake ( by November 18, 2019. Notification of the acceptance of abstracts will be made by December 9, 2019.Full papers must then be submitted by May 31, 2020.


Please note that papers submitted to SHR should be limited to 8,000 to 10,000 words, including notes, and formatted according to SHR guidelines. All submissions will undergo double-blind peer-review, and must be revised according to feedback from the reviewers and, where necessary, the comments from Guest Editors. It is expected that the special issue will be published in the 2021 Spring Issue (no. 1) of SHR.

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