Sport History in the Digital Era

Author: Edited by Gary Osmond and Murray G. Phillips
The far-reaching ways digital media affect sport historians and their work
Cloth – $60
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Cloth: 04/20/2015
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About the Book

From statistical databases to story archives, from fan sites to the real-time reactions of Twitter-empowered athletes, the digital communication revolution has changed the way sports fans relate to their favorite teams. In this volume, contributors from Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States analyze the parallel transformation in the field of sport history, showing the ways powerful digital tools raise vital philosophical, epistemological, ontological, methodological, and ethical questions for scholars and students alike.

Chapters consider how the philosophical and theoretical understanding of the meaning of history influence a willingness to engage with digital history, and conceptualize the relationship between history making and the digital era. As the writers show, digital media's mostly untapped potential for studying the recent past via blogs, chat rooms, gambling sites, and the like forge a symbiosis between sports and the internet, and offer historians new vistas to explore and utilize.

Sport History in the Digital Era also shows how the best digital history goes beyond a static cache of curated documents. Instead, it becomes a truly public history that serves as a dynamic site of enquiry and discussion. In such places, scholars enter into a give-and-take with individuals while inviting the audience to grapple with, rather than passively absorb, the evidence being offered.

Timely and provocative, Sport History in the Digital Era affirms how the information revolution has transformed sport and sport history--and shows the road ahead.

Contributors include Douglas Booth, Mike Cronin, Martin Johnes, Matthew Klugman, Geoffery Z. Kohe, Tara Magdalinski, Fiona McLachlan, Bob Nicholson, Rebecca Olive, Gary Osmond, Murray G. Phillips, Stephen Robertson, Synthia Sydnor, Holly Thorpe, and Wayne Wilson.

About the Author

Gary Osmond is a senior lecturer in sport history at the University of Queensland. Murray G. Phillips is an associate professor in the socio-cultural aspects of sport and physical activity at the University of Queensland and editor of Deconstructing Sport History: A Postmodern Analysis. Both are active members in the North American Society for Sport History.


"Those who are interested in sport history will appreciate this resource on using the Internet in their work. Highly recommended."--Choice

"Each essay is thought-provoking and grounded with examples or connections to sport history that challenge us to consider the utility of digital technologies—and our relationship to them—moving forward. . . . Osmond and Phillips show a keen awareness of the major developments, debates, and conversations in the digital humanities and offer an important book that will serve as an accessible conversation starter for historians of sport."--Sport in American History

"This book should interest anyone who does research into sports history or who teaches a graduate-level class on doing research, especially archival work."--Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

"This book sets out to make history safe for the Internet age that has been thrust upon us ready or not in this century. . . . Sport historians, sports studies and sociology of sport scholars, and digital humanities scholars will all find useful ideas for their research and their efforts in the classroom in the volume's ten chapters."--ARETE

"Sport History in the Digital Era offers a well-timed overview of the ways that sport historians can work in this milieu."--Sport History Review

"Provides a thoughtful exploration of the strengths and weaknesses of online sport history, which is especially valuable for those reluctant to embrace the digital age."--New Media & Society


"The stimulating ideas presented make this essential reading for all those interested in how sports history will fare in the digital age. The contributors, some cautious, others more polemic, discuss the limits and possibilities of digitized knowledge and assess the challenges and opportunities offered by digital technology."--Wray Vamplew, co-author of Mud, Sweat and Beers: A Cultural History of Sport and Alcohol

"A digital revolution has already altered much of what sport historians do, from archival research to classroom pedagogy and options for publication, to attaining the rewards of professional advancement. But is it creating different tools for doing the same old work, or is the work itself being transformed? The question is unavoidable—avoiding it is its own response—but the answers aren't obvious. These instructive and provocative essays offer a timely guide to issues that will shape the future of the discipline."--Michael Oriard, author of Bowled Over: Big-Time College Football from the Sixties to the BCS Era

"Reading the essays in this book opened me up to an unexpectedly broad array of ways to use internet tools and resources for both scholarship and teaching. It is a timely--indeed prescient--addition to the scholarship in the field and will likely be the standard text in this area for many years."--Susan Birrell, co-editor of Reading Sport: Critical Essays on Power and Representation

"Taking a very balanced approach and careful not to pass judgment without adequate evidence, the editors make clear that there are advantages and disadvantages to using digital tools and that the engagement with digital history ultimately raises important methodological questions and concerns. A truly significant contribution to the field. The first volume of its kind."--David K. Wiggins, author of Out of the Shadows: A Biographical History of African American Athletes