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Team Work? Using Sporting Fiction as an Historical Archive and Source of Developing Theoretical Approaches to Sport History

Andy Harvey, Andrew Harvey Orcid Logo

The International Journal of the History of Sport, Volume: 30, Issue: 2, Pages: 131 - 144

Swansea University Author: Andrew Harvey Orcid Logo

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Abstract

This article seeks to explore some theoretical and methodological issues that have arisen in a wider study into sport, gender and sexuality. The study aims to bring together, in creative ways, different academic traditions of history, literature and gender studies through a common medium – the novel...

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Published in: The International Journal of the History of Sport
ISSN: 0952-3367 1743-9035
Published: 2013
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa35467
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Abstract: This article seeks to explore some theoretical and methodological issues that have arisen in a wider study into sport, gender and sexuality. The study aims to bring together, in creative ways, different academic traditions of history, literature and gender studies through a common medium – the novel. My foundational assumption is that knowledge may be both generated and uncovered through fictional representations such as Tom Brown's Schooldays (1857), This Sporting Life (1960) and Fever Pitch ([1992] 2000). The questions the article poses are: what are the epistemological implications of reading sporting histories through fictional representations? How might we theorise about the lived reality of historical actors through a reading of sport novels? How can fictional texts be read alongside more traditional archival material? I argue that the novel allows access to theoretical thinking that enables an examination of human conditions such as the need for fantasy, intuition and myth, which other archival material might not reveal, thus enriching our understanding of the past.
Keywords: fiction, sport history, epistemology, historical archive, literature
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Issue: 2
Start Page: 131
End Page: 144