266 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Sport about their New Books
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New Books in Sports New Books Network

    • Sports
    • 4.9 • 14 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Sport about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/sports

    Lincoln A. Mitchell, "The Giants and Their City: Major League Baseball in San Francisco, 1976-1992" (Kent State UP, 2021)

    Lincoln A. Mitchell, "The Giants and Their City: Major League Baseball in San Francisco, 1976-1992" (Kent State UP, 2021)

    In 1976, the San Francisco Giants headed north of the border and became the Toronto Giants - or so the sportswriters of the time would have you believe. In The Giants and Their City: Major League Baseball in San Francisco, 1976-1992 (Kent State UP, 2021), the journalist and scholar Lincoln Mitchell explains how the team and the city narrowly avoided what seemed in the moment to be an inevitable fate. Mitchell tells the story of a baseball team in a period of transition, much like the city it called home, and of the players, owners, managers, politicians, and fans, who fought to keep the Giants in the city by the bay. The team was often mediocre, and San Francisco itself ailing in the aftermath of the tumultuous and often violent late 1970s. Together, both team and town searched for a new direction as America entered the Reagan years. The Giants and Their City is a history of a baseball team, but more than that, it's a story about the identity of a city, the people who live there, and those stick with a team through thick and thin, or in San Francisco's case, through cold wind and a terrible mascot. 
    Lincoln Mitchell can be heard on the "Say It Ain't Contagious Podcast," a show about baseball, politics, and social justice.
    Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
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    • 58 min
    Sertaç Sehlikoglu, "Working Out Desire: Women, Sport, and Self-Making in Istanbul" (Syracuse UP, 2020)

    Sertaç Sehlikoglu, "Working Out Desire: Women, Sport, and Self-Making in Istanbul" (Syracuse UP, 2020)

    Working Out Desire: Women, Sport, and Self-Making in Istanbul (Syracuse UP, 2020) examines spor merakı as an object of desire shared by a broad and diverse group of Istanbulite women. Sehlikoglu follows the lat­est anthropological scholarship that defines desire beyond the moment it is felt, experienced, or even yearned for, and as something that is formed through a series of social and historical makings. She traces Istanbulite women’s ever-increasing interest in exercise not merely to an interest in sport, but also to an interest in establishing a new self—one that attempts to escape from conventional feminine duties—and an investment in forming a more agentive, desiring, self.
    Working Out Desire develops a multilayered analysis of how women use spor merakı to take themselves out of the domestic zone physically, emotionally, and also imaginatively.
    Sehlikoglu pushes back against the conventional boundaries of scholarly interest in Muslim women as pious subjects. Instead, it places women’s desiring subjectivity at its center and traces women’s agentive aspirations in the way they bend the norms which are embedded in the multiple patriarchal ideologies (i.e. nationalism, religion, aesthetics) which operate on their selves.

    Working out Desire presents the ways in which women’s changing habits, leisure, and self-formation in the Muslim world and the Middle East are connected to their agentive capacities to shift and transform their conditions and socio-cultural capabilities.
    Sertaç Sehlikoğlu is a Senior Research Associate and Primary Investigator at the Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London.
    Alize Arıcan is an incoming Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University's Center for Cultural Analysis. She is an urban anthropologist focusing on futurity, care, and migration in Turkey. Her work has been featured in Current Anthropology, City & Society, Radical Housing Journal, and entanglements: experiments in multimodal ethnography.
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    • 57 min
    Cat M. Ariail, "Passing the Baton: Black Women Track Stars and American Identity" (U Illinois Press, 2020)

    Cat M. Ariail, "Passing the Baton: Black Women Track Stars and American Identity" (U Illinois Press, 2020)

    At almost any international sporting event in which the US competes, it is now common (and appropriate) to remark on the composition of the American team’s ethnic and racial diversity. It is now accepted that a competitor with “USA” on their jersey/uniform does not have to “look” a certain way in order to represent the country . They can be African American, Latino/a, Asian American, Native American, or any other racial or ethnic background.
    For many decades of Olympic/international competition, this was not the case. It is the challenge to these limitations that Cat Ariail discusses in her work, Passing the Baton: Black Women Track Stars and American Identity (University of Illinois Press, 2020). Here, by examining the careers and importance of women such as Alice Coachman, Mae Faggs, and Wilma Rudolph, the author demonstrates the tensions and opportunities created by the US’ desire to triumph against Eastern-bloc foes (both on the field of athletic competition, as well as in international diplomacy). Ultimately, it was the talent of these competitors that overcame many discriminatory assumptions and forced the nation’s sports cultures (both white and African American) to broaden the notion of who could don the USA moniker in Olympic venues such as Melbourne and Rome.
    While eventually coming to accept, grudgingly, the notion that African American women should compete on behalf of the USA, not all barriers fell, as Ariail argues in her chapters on Wilma Rudolph. Here, she focuses on the fact that Rudolph “looked” the way a US female athlete should. Further, her “performance” closely mirrored what was expected of white female athletes (this, in turned, required the covering up of Rudolph being an unwed mother). Still, she looked the part, and this made it possible for more African American women, and eventually white females, to gain acceptance so as to be able to compete for the US in track and field.
    This work provides an excellent overview of the talent and determination it took for female athletes from schools such as Tennessee State University to challenge, and surmount, many, though not all, of the limitations that the sporting culture of post-World War II US society placed on them.
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    • 48 min
    Jurgen Martschukat, "The Age of Fitness: How the Body Came to Symbolize Success and Achievement" (Polity, 2021)

    Jurgen Martschukat, "The Age of Fitness: How the Body Came to Symbolize Success and Achievement" (Polity, 2021)

    Today on New Books in History, Juergen Martschukat, professor of North American History at Universitat Erfurt, talks about his new book, The Age of Fitness: How the Body Became a Sign of Success and Performance (Polity Press, 2021), to celebrate its translation into and publication in English with Polity Press, this year, 2021. The book was originally published in 2019, by S. Fischer, in German.
    We live in the age of fitness. Hundreds of thousands of people run marathons and millions go jogging in local parks, work out in gyms, cycle, swim, or practice yoga. The vast majority are not engaged in competitive sport and are not trying to win any medals. They just want to get fit. Why this modern preoccupation with fitness? In this new book, Jurgen Martschukat traces the roots of our modern preoccupation with fitness back to the birth of modern societies in the eighteenth century, showing how the idea of fitness was interwoven with modernity's emphasis on perpetual optimization and renewal. But it is only in the period since the 1970s, he argues, that the age of fitness truly emerged, as part and parcel of our contemporary neoliberal era. Neoliberalism enjoins individuals to work on themselves, to cultivate themselves in body and mind. Fitness becomes a guiding principle of social life, an era-defining network of discourses and practices that shape individuals' actions and self-conceptions. The pursuit of fitness becomes a cultural repertoire that is deeply ingrained in our institutions and way of life. This wide-ranging book shows how deeply fitness is inscribed in modern societies, and how important fitness has become to success or failure, recognition or exclusion, in a society that sets great store by self-responsibility, performance, market, and competition. It will be of great value not only to those interested in sport and fitness, but also to anyone concerned with the conditions of success and failure in our societies today.
    Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender.
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    • 1 hr 28 min
    Dave Seminara, "Footsteps of Federer: A Fan’s Pilgrimage Across 7 Swiss Cantons in 10 Acts" (Post Hill Press, 2021)

    Dave Seminara, "Footsteps of Federer: A Fan’s Pilgrimage Across 7 Swiss Cantons in 10 Acts" (Post Hill Press, 2021)

    Today I talked to Dave Seminara about his book Footsteps of Federer: A Fan’s Pilgrimage Across 7 Swiss Cantons in 10 Acts (Post Hill Press, 2021)
    Dave Seminara is a writer, former diplomat, and passionate tennis fan. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and dozens of other publications. His two previous books are Bed, Breakfast & Drunken Threats: Dispatches from the Margins of Europe and Breakfast with Polygamists: Dispatches from the Margins of The Americas.
    Who do so many tennis fans revere Roger Federer? His success and talent are givens at this point, but not to be overlooked says Seminara is Federer’s sportsmanship, humor and vulnerability. This is a guy, after all, who might smash racquets during matches as a junior player but who would also sit and cry for as long as an hour after a losing match. In a country without America’s hero worship of celebrities, Federer remains low-key off-court and always meticulous. This episode ranges from Federer stories and details to a look at the other big names in men’s tennis, with sunny Federer a contrast with intense, even grim Rafa Nadal (on court) and Novak Djokovic’s eyes-wide focus while receiving serve in particular.
    Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of eight books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). To check out his related blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.
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    • 32 min
    Bradford Pearson, "The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration and Resistance in World War II America" (Atria, 2021)

    Bradford Pearson, "The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration and Resistance in World War II America" (Atria, 2021)

    In the spring of 1942, the United States government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona and sent them to incarceration camps across the West. Nearly 14,000 of them landed on the outskirts of Cody, Wyoming, at the base of Heart Mountain.
    Behind barbed wire fences, they faced racism, cruelty, and frozen winters. Trying to recreate comforts from home, many established Buddhist temples and sumo wrestling pits. Kabuki performances drew hundreds of spectators—yet there was little hope.
    That is, until the fall of 1943, when the camp’s high school football team, the Eagles, started its first season and finished it undefeated, crushing the competition from nearby, predominantly white high schools. Amid all this excitement, American politics continued to disrupt their lives as the federal government drafted men from the camps for the front lines—including some of the Eagles. As the team’s second season kicked off, the young men faced a choice to either join the Army or resist the draft. Teammates were divided, and some were jailed for their decisions.
    Bradford Pearson's The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration and Resistance in World War II America (Atria, 2021) honors the resilience of extraordinary heroes and the power of sports in a sweeping and inspirational portrait of one of the darkest moments in American history.
    Paul Knepper used to cover the Knicks for Bleacher Report. His first book, The Knicks of the Nineties: Ewing, Oakley, Starks and the Brawlers That Almost Won It All was published in September 2020. You can reach Paul at paulknepper@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @paulieknep.
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    • 1 hr

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4.9 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

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fun listen

randomly came accross this one. Really enjoyed it. check it out

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