The purpose of the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH) is to promote, stimulate, and encourage the study of the history of sport; to support, stimulate and encourage scholarly writing and research related to the history of sport; and to cooperate with local, national, and international organizations having the same purpose. 

Recent Announcements

2024 Annual Conference of the
North American Society for Sport History (NASSH)

On behalf of the NASSH 2024 program committee, I am pleased to share with you the program for the 2024 conference of the North American Society for Sport History. A copy of the program overview is attached here as a PDF. This is subject to changes between now and May 24-27. The most up-to-date version of the program, including individual authors, titles, and abstracts, can be found here (requires a ConfTool login).

Please note that the times listed in the program are in local Denver time (mountain time zone, MT). If you are presenting virtually, the times listed in Hopin will show in YOUR local time zone.

Those of you who have registered to present virtually will receive details about how to access the Hopin platform in a separate email from Kim Scott, NASSH convention manager.

In addition to the papers presented by NASSH members, scholarly highlights include:

  • Seward C. Staley Honor Address: Malcolm MacLean
  • John R. Betts Honor Address: Louis Moore
  • Graduate Student Award Winner Address: Yacov Zohn
  • Plenary panels, including two sessions of the Dr. Harry Edwards BIPOC Symposium (organized by C. Keith Harrison) and the Queering NASSH/Queering Sport History panel (organized by Maria Veri)

Additional program details to note

Friday, May 24
The afternoon features two hands-on professional development sessions, organized by Jennifer Giuliano, for graduate students and early-career researchers. Space is limited. Please register using the links below:

Late-afternoon and evening sessions take place at the History Colorado Center, MDC/Richmond American Homes Foundation Room:

  • 5:00-6:30: Dr. Harry Edwards BIPOC Symposium
  • 6:30-7:00: Access to museum exhibits (free for NASSH members)
  • 7:00-9:00: NASSH 2024 opening reception

History Colorado Center is located at 1200 Broadway, an 18-minute walk from the hotel (see map).

Saturday, May 25

  • Take a student to lunch (1:15-2:45pm): those of you who signed up to participate in the “take a student to lunch” event will receive an email prior to NASSH connecting you with the mentor/mentee with whom you have been matched.
  • Colorado Rockies baseball game (7:10pm): an optional outing to a Major League Baseball game, organized by Seth Tannenbaum. For tickets, click here.

Sunday, May 26

  • Two professional development sessions will be offered (11:15am-12:30pm):
    • Publishing in Sport History (organized by Rob Lake and Kate Aguilar)
    • Teaching Sport History (organized by Samantha White)
  • Graduate student social (6:00pm-) will take place at West Saloon & Kitchen (501 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80202,

Monday, May 27

  • NASSH Business Meeting will take place at 8:30-10:00am
  • Breakfast will be available (as of 8:00am) as an encouragement to you to attend the business meeting
  • Pick-up basketball (4:15-5:45pm), an optional activity, organized by Rob Lake:
    • From Rob: “In 2017, at the Fullerton conference, a group of us NASSH folks rekindled the tradition of a fun, friendly, all-abilities-welcome, pick-up basketball game at the conference. We had a fantastic turn-out and all who attended commented on how much fun we had, and how great it was to meet new people and connect in this way. The tradition lasted a few years. Now, after a short hiatus, it is time to bring this tradition back (again!). I have scouted the nearby area and found several outdoor courts upon which to partake in some basketball. I’d like those who are interested in playing to please write to me. If we can get at least 8 or so, and if the weather looks dry enough, then I’ll give it the green light, and we can all pack the appropriate apparel.” To express interest, email


  • From Kate Aguilar, on behalf of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonisation Coordinating Group:
    • “This year the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonisation Coordinating Group, along with support from the Executive Council and the Program Committee, will distribute a survey to gauge members’ experiences at the annual conference and within the organization. We will distribute hard copies of the survey during the Sunday morning business meeting, with extras available at the registration table. There will also be a QR code on a sign at the door of where we meet each day for lunch, and we will send you a link to the survey in an email following the conference. Please complete the survey in whatever format you feel comfortable. We appreciate your time and feedback.”

We hope you enjoy NASSH 2024.

If you have any questions, please reach out to me.
Russell Field
Chair, NASSH 2024 program committee

NASSH program committee: Kate Aguilar, Chris Bolsmann, Russell Field, Jennifer Giuliano, Matt Hodler, Amanda Schweinbenz, Samantha White

Dear NASSH Members,

The Journal of Sport History (JSH) is pleased to announce that it is moving to Scholastica for managing submissions and peer review as of February 1, 2024. To submit, visit: If you do not already have a Scholastica account, you will be prompted to create one.
The previous submission portal, JSH Open Journal Systems, is no longer accepting new submissions. Manuscripts that were submitted to the JSH prior to February 1, 2024, are still active and are being processed.
The JSH staff thanks contributors in advance for their patience during this transition. We are confident that Scholastica will improve the submission process, and we look forward to working with you.

Daniel A. Nathan, Journal of Sport History Editor
Department of American Studies
Skidmore College

2024 Annual Conference of the
North American Society for Sport History (NASSH)

Call for Papers: “Sport Studies as a Public Service: Popular Scholarship, Histories, and Activism”

NASSH 2024 Pre-Conference Workshop

Thursday May 23 and the morning of Friday May 24

Call ends February 16, 2024

For the full 2024 NASSH call for papers, click here.

In the concluding piece of the Journal of Sport History’s special issue on the fiftieth anniversary of NASSH, historians Andrew Linden and Alison Wrynn highlight how “there are now myriad opportunities for the publishing of academic articles, and even more ways for scholars to disseminate their research to the field and the public at large.” Despite these new opportunities, there remains a barrier between the public and academics. As the current president Sarah Fields remarks, “‘The academy in general and sport history in particular have moved further away from the general public and lay audiences.’” Linden and Wrynn describe this phenomenon as “concerning,” highlighting how “academic research needs to strive to do something to advance society” and that the legitimacy of our field depends on the public’s interest in “the sporting past.” In the time since Linden and Wrynn wrote their piece, dramatic changes, such as the end of the New York Times’ sports section and HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, befell our popular media landscape, making communicating with the broader public even harder than before. [1]

As programming with a more critical view, such as Real Sports, decreases, we believe it is time to revisit the question: what is the sport scholar’s role today? Overall, we believe it is necessary to reflect on how scholars of sport and adjacent fields tell what Fields calls “‘good stories’” to the public. We open this workshop to individuals who have gone beyond academic journals to critically examine recreation, sport, and/or leisure through teaching, museums, public policy, activism, new media (podcasts, social media, documentary), or any number of alternatives. Overall, the intent of the pre-conference workshop is for sport scholars to reflect, share, and write about their responsibility to the public and their efforts to provide “good stories.”

The following questions, as a starting point, will help to frame the workshop:

  • How are sport scholars engaging with and disseminating information to the public-at-large?
  • What are the successes and challenges of such plans?
  • What can the general field do to improve its outreach to the public on a school, local, state/provincial, and/or regional level?
  • How has our ability to communicate our research changed over time?
  • How can we make our work simultaneously rich with academic rigor and yet compelling to the general society?
  • How can JSH, and other academic journals on sport and leisure, change to better convey historical research and “good stories”?
  • How can our research provide a mutually benefiting outcome for ourselves, our subjects, and the public?

Venue: Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado.

Dates: The workshop will be held in-person prior to the 2024 NASSH conference. The workshop dates will be Thursday, May 23 (all-day) and the morning of Friday, May 24, 2024.

Requirements: Please indicate your interest by submitting a 300-500 word abstract and a 200-word biography via the 2024 Pre-Conference Submission Form by Friday, February 16, 2024.

Those selected will be notified by the end of February and are required to submit a completed paper by April 30, 2024. Participants will present their paper to the workshop and have their work reviewed by attendees. Accepted participants may receive some financial assistance. Workshop papers will be considered for a special issue of the Journal of Sport History.

For additional questions, please contact the organizers:
Aaron Bonsu – Pennsylvania State University:
Cam Mallett – Pennsylvania State University:
Carly Adams – University of Lethbridge:

[1] Andrew D. Linden and Alison M. Wrynn, “Looking at the Past, Thinking about the Future: The Journal of Sport History,” Journal of Sport History 48, no. 3 (2021): 414-424; Katie Robertson and John Koblin, “The New York Times to Disband its Sports Department,” The New York Times, July 10, 2023; Joe Otterson, “‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’ to End HBO Run After 29 Seasons,” Variety, September 6, 2023.

2024 Annual Conference of the
North American Society for Sport History (NASSH)

As part of the call for papers for NASSH 2024, the program committee has received abstracts for proposed session, where session organizers shared a theme for a session while seeking participants for those sessions. 

This year, the program committee received two session abstracts. Please review these (below) and if you are interested in having your work considered for inclusion in one of these sessions, contact the session organizer directly. The abstract submission deadline – with all abstracts submitted through Conftool – is January 31, 2024.  

For the full 2024 NASSH call for papers, click here.

Self-Tracking and Sport History  

Session organizer: Jonathan Finn, Wilfrid Laurier University, 

Whether in the form of Cederström and Spicer’s (2015) ‘wellness syndrome,’ Martschukat’s ‘Age of Fitness’ (2021) or Millington’s (2020) ‘Fitness 2.0,’ self-tracking has become a dominant practice within contemporary society. This rise in practice has been met by a parallel rise in scholarship. Exemplified in the work of Deborah Lupton, critical analyses of self-tracking emphasize the neoliberal underpinnings of the practice, through which the responsibility of health, wellness and fitness has been reconfigured as a moral quest for the individual. Often borrowing from Foucault, scholars of self-tracking rightly point to the disciplining and surveillant functions of the practice while also finding room for user agency, resistance and play.  

Work by Vertinsky (2008) and Crawford, Lingel and Karppi (2015) has identified the historical origins of current self-tracking practices; however, the majority of scholarship in the field comes from the social sciences, often producing ethnographic studies of self-trackers. This has the effect of emphasizing self-tracking as a uniquely contemporary phenomenon. This proposed panel aims to address this by examining the relationship between self-tracking and sport history. Given its prominence, why is self-tracking largely absent in sport history? In what ways is self-tracking a continuation of, response to, or rejection of historical practices in sport and fitness? How might the theories, methods and practices of sport history help us better understand 21st century self-tracking? This panel seeks to address these and related questions at the intersection of self-tracking and sport history. 

Sport and the American Civil Rights Movement  

Session organizer: Kevin Witherspoon, Lander University, 

Seeking individual paper proposals for a session exploring connections between sport and Civil Rights leaders, and/or Black athletes and protest more generally. 

The central question the session would seek to answer is, “What role did athletics play in the lives of Civil Rights activists?” While we don’t generally think of someone like Martin Luther King playing baseball, or Malcolm X shooting hoops, others involved in the Civil Rights movement either played or supported sports avidly. Several of the participants in the protests precipitating the Orangeburg Massacre in 1968, for instance, were athletes at South Carolina State University. The involvement of prominent athletes such as Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Wilma Rudolph, and Bill Russell in various protests has been well documented. How did sport impact their actions as activists? This session hopes to deepen and expand our understanding of the ties between athletics and activism.  

Suitable papers might address Martin Luther King, Jr. or other Civil Rights figures and their views on sport, and/or personal interaction with specific athletes in that era, or the sporting experiences of such figures. Alternatively, papers might consider Black athletes and their involvement in civic activism in the 1950s and ‘60s (or beyond that timeframe as well). Another possibility might be papers addressing the intersections between sport and the quest for equality in specific cities noted for Civil Rights activity, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery, New Orleans, Chicago, and many others.

Fine print

Submission of an abstract/proposal for the NASSH 2024 program indicates acceptance of the NASSH Participation Guidelines.

To be included on the program for NASSH 2024, presenters must be current NASSH members and registered conference participants, with all relevant fees and dues paid in full no later than May 1, 2024.

The NASSH Program Committee has sole discretion over all decisions related to the content and scheduling of the NASSH 2024 program.
For any enquiries, please contact Russell Field (

Program Committee

Kate Aguilar, Gustavus Adolphus College
Chris Bolsmann, California State University Northridge
Russell Field, University of Manitoba (chair)
Jennifer Guiliano, IUPUI/IU Indianapolis
Matthew Hodler, University of Rhode Island
Amanda Schweinbenz, Laurentian University
Samantha White, Manhattanville College

Dear NASSH members,
At the end of 2023, Professor Maureen M. Smith completed her tenure as Editor of the Journal of Sport History, the flagship journal of the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH). She successfully guided the journal through the COVID-19 pandemic, providing vital continuity when she accepted a second term as Editor. We appreciate her steady hand, not only during this challenging period but throughout her time with the journal. During Smith’s Editorship, the JSH published brilliant, valuable work, and her leadership contributed to diversifying the JSH staff and editorial board. The Publications Board warmly thanks Professor Smith for her stewardship of and dedication to the journal for the past six years.
We are excited to announce that Professor Daniel A. Nathan has been chosen as the next Editor of the Journal of Sport History. A long time member of NASSH—he was the organization’s President (2013-2015)—Nathan has also served as Associate Editor and as the Film, Media, and Museum Reviews Editor for the JSH. With fellow NASSH members Sarah K. Fields, Thomas Hunt, and Patricia Vertinsky, he co-edits the Terry and Jan Todd Series on Physical Culture and Sports for the University of Texas Press. He is Professor of American Studies at Skidmore College, where he holds the Douglas Family Chair in American Culture, History, and Literary and Interdisciplinary Studies. The author of the award-winning Saying It’s So: A Cultural History of the Black Sox Scandal (2003), Nathan has published essays and reviews in a variety of periodicals. He is the editor of Rooting for the Home Team: Sport, Community, and Identity (2013) and Baltimore Sports: Stories from Charm City (2016), and co-editor of Baseball Beyond Our Borders: An International Pastime (2017) with George Gmelch, and co-editor of the forthcoming Sports through the Lens: Essays on 25 Iconic Photographs with Maureen M. Smith and Sarah K. Fields.
Thank you to both Professors Smith and Nathan for their service to the JSH and NASSH!

The NASSH Publications Board
Michelle Sikes, Chair
Cat Ariail
Janice Forsyth
Matt Llewellyn
Toby Rider
Maria Veri

2024 Annual Conference of the
North American Society for Sport History (NASSH)


Call for Paper and Session Proposals

The North American Society for Sport History (NASSH) will gather in 2024 on the traditional territories and ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute nations and peoples. We recognize that these lands are a historical and contemporary site of trade and gathering for other Native peoples and honor knowledge keepers of these lands.

The 2024 NASSH annual conference will take place on May 24-27, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. Participation in NASSH 2024 will be available to both in-person and virtual participants. All sessions will be hybrid, with no separate pre-recorded virtual presentations. Virtual participants will be able to attend all sessions live via the Hopin/Ring Central platform. Registration fees will be tiered according to the nature of participation.

Key Dates

Dec. 14, 2023Call for papers announced; abstract submission open
Jan. 15, 2024Deadline for submission of proposed session topics
Jan. 31, 2024Deadline for individual paper and complete session abstracts
Feb. 29, 2024Notification of acceptance/rejection of submission
April 1, 2024Anticipated release of draft program
April 15, 2024Deadline for payment of membership dues, to be included in 2024 program
May 1, 2024Deadline for submission of completed papers to discussants
May 1, 2024Deadline for submission of pre-recorded presentations (virtual participants)
May 11, 2024Anticipated release of final program


Participation Modes

The Program Committee encourages NASSH members and others interested in the scholarly study of sport history to submit proposals and/or participate in one of the following categories:

Individual papers, with or without discussant (see below)
Proposals for individual 12-15-minute research presentations (both in-person and virtual), which the Program Committee will then group into appropriate sessions. NASSH members submitting abstracts will be asked whether they wish to be scheduled in a session that includes a discussant/commentator. The program committee will endeavor to accommodate all NASSH members who wish to their papers included in such a session. Requesting a session with a discussant indicates that NASSH members agree to submit their completed full paper to the discussant by the May 1, 2024, deadline.

Complete themed panels (3 papers + moderator and/or discussant)
NASSH members are encouraged to submit complete three-paper themed sessions. Such sessions are strongly encouraged to include a discussant/commentator and can include virtual participants. The Program Committee strongly encourages themed panels that explore diverse topics in sport history and whose composition reflects this diversity.

Themed sessions
NASSH members both interested in proposing a themed session and in publicizing this session to reach potential presenters are encouraged to share their proposed theme/topic and a 250-300-word abstract with the Program Committee chair, Russell Field ( by January 15, 2024. These details should be accompanied by the name and email address of the session organizer (to allow NASSH members to contact them directly). Session topics will be publicized through NASSH communication channels. The Program Committee takes no responsibility for ensuring that presenters are assigned to proposed topics. The session organizer is responsible for recruiting session participants and submitting complete session abstracts by the January 31, 2024, deadline. A proposed session will be reviewed by the Program Committee for acceptance/rejection in the same manner as other papers and themed sessions (see above).

Moderators and Discussants/Commentators

NASSH members, particularly those who are attending NASSH 2024 but not presenting a paper are encouraged to volunteer to be session moderators and/or discussants/commentator. The Program Committee welcomes expressions of interest. Please click here.

A Note regarding Scheduling

NASSH members submitting abstracts for individual papers or as part of themed panels should be aware that the presentation of their work will be scheduled at the discretion of the Program Committee sometime between Saturday, May 25, and Monday, May 27 (inclusive). Specific scheduling requests are not being accepted.

A Note regarding Virtual Participation

NASSH members who choose to participate in the conference virtually will have their presentations integrated within the in-person program. Virtual presentations should be pre-recorded and submitted by May 1, 2024 (details can be found in the NASSH Participation Guidelines). These will be played live during the relevant session. Virtual participants are expected to attend their session and be part of the live post-panel Q-and-A discussion. Presenters who cannot attend the live Q-and-A will not have their pre-recorded presentations shown live. The Program Committee will endeavor to schedule the presentations of virtual participants at a time that respects the time zones in which they reside, but not all requests can be accommodated. 

Attending NASSH

Registration and accommodation

Details regarding registration and accommodation will be available on the NASSH website early in 2024 ( Note: registration and accommodation bookings will open in mid-January 2024.

First-time attendees

First-time attendees of NASSH 2024 (in-person only) are eligible for a 50% discount on their registration fee regardless of registration category. Use the coupon code FIRSTTIME when registering.

Graduate students

Graduate students who have an in-person presentation accepted for NASSH 2024 are eligible for a grant from the Roberta Park Graduate Travel Fund. (The value of the award for 2024 is TBD, but students should not rely on this award to cover all travel, registration, and accommodation expenses.) No application is needed; Treasurer Thomas Hunt will distribute checks at the conference. Annual interest from the Park Fund is divided equitably among all graduate students presenting at the conference.

Graduate students are encouraged to submit their papers to the competition for the NASSH Graduate Essay Award (


Abstract/Proposal Submission

All abstracts/proposals should be submitted using the Conftool platform. To submit an abstract, you will need to register for an account using your preferred email and contact information.
A guide to using the submission system is available ( Additional questions can be referred to

Guidelines for Submitting Individual Abstracts (in-person or remote)

Submit abstracts for individual papers to
Required information includes:

  • Selecting whether presentation will be in-person or virtual
  • title of presentation
  • corresponding author’s name, email address, and affiliation
  • if relevant, co-authors’ names, emails addresses, and affiliations
  • session topic suggestions/keywords
  • abstract (250-300 words)
    • Abstracts should include the question(s) addressed in the paper, the evidence used, a statement of the argument and conclusions, and what significance the paper has to our understanding of sport history.


Guidelines for Submitting Complete Sessions

Submit proposals/abstracts for complete sessions to
Required information includes:

  • title of session
  • name of session organizer (including email address and affiliation)
  • names of session participants (including email address and affiliation), including an indication of which participants will present in-person and which will be virtual
  • name of discussant, if applicable (including email address and affiliation)
  • name of moderator, if applicable (including email address and affiliation)
  • session abstract (250-300 words), which describes the theme of the session, how the individual papers contribute to a consideration of that theme, and an explanation of the theme’s significance to the study of sport history
  • abstracts for each individual paper (250-300 words each)
    • Abstracts should include the question(s) addressed in the paper, the evidence used, a statement of the argument and conclusions, and what significance the paper has to our understanding of sport history.

Decisions on abstract/proposal submission

  • Individual authors and session organizers will be notified of the acceptance or rejection of their submission by February 29, 2024.The Program Committee will evaluate all submissions according to their individual merit, contribution to the field, and fit within the total program. Proposals missing requested information will be returned to the author(s).

Fine print

Submission of an abstract/proposal for the NASSH 2024 program indicates acceptance of the NASSH Participation Guidelines.

To be included on the program for NASSH 2024, presenters must be current NASSH members and registered conference participants, with all relevant fees and dues paid in full no later than May 1, 2024.

The NASSH Program Committee has sole discretion over all decisions related to the content and scheduling of the NASSH 2024 program.
For any enquiries, please contact Russell Field (

Program Committee

Kate Aguilar, Gustavus Adolphus College
Chris Bolsmann, California State University Northridge
Russell Field, University of Manitoba (chair)
Jennifer Guiliano, IUPUI/IU Indianapolis
Matthew Hodler, University of Rhode Island
Amanda Schweinbenz, Laurentian University
Samantha White, Manhattanville College