CfP: The Phenomenology of Sport

BSP News Item Thumbnail

The Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology invites contributions to a special edition – submission date for the papers 30 June 2023.

Call for papers
Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology
Special issue
The Phenomenology of Sport
Guest-edited by Ruan Jones

The Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology invites contributions to a special edition on the topic of: “The Phenomenology of Sport”.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the first edition of Sport and the Body: A Philosophical Symposium, edited by Ellen Gerber and William Morgan. This collection recognised the increasing academic and cultural interest in the philosophy of sport and the body during the 60s and 70s. To celebrate this landmark anthology, which significantly contributed to the formal philosophical study of sport, the editors present a Call for Papers that celebrates the phenomenology of sport and the body.
Sport, in common with other social and cultural phenomena, has emerged in recent decades as a source of considerable and contested philosophical analysis. The catalyst for disciplinary philosophical interest is generally acknowledged as Sport: A Philosophic Inquiry (Weiss, 1969), and followed shortly afterwards by Sport and the Body: A Philosophical Symposium (Gerber and Morgan, 1972). These texts have, consequently, facilitated rich and varied insights for both Analytic and Continental philosophers with an interest in sport.
Defining sport in the academic context is challenging for various reasons: 1) The terms slipperiness and contested nature ensures that it escapes a simple definition; 2) the close kinship it shares with other sources of movement and athletic endeavour, including play, games and physical/outdoor education, further confound such attempts (e.g. Caillois, 1955/2001; Loy Jr., 1979; Suits, 1978); and 3) attempting to analyse and define any set of universal characteristics or ‘truths’ may serve to obfuscate the desire to explore the meaning of sport, and other similar movement phenomena, from a phenomenological perspective in its broadest sense. Our wish, therefore, is to unconceal what sport is, and what it means from the perspective of the moving agent within the sporting context.
For the purposes of this special issue, and keeping in mind the problematic nature of the definition of sport, the editors suggest that, central to all sporting endeavours is the lived experience of the embodied subject: temporally, spatially, and intersubjectively. From an applied (or empirical) phenomenological perspective several traditions have emerged, influenced by key figures within the phenomenological movement: 1) The Pre-transcendental Descriptive method (Husserl, 1931/1970); 2) The Hermeneutic method (Heidegger (1927/1962); and 3) The Existential method (Merleau-Ponty, 1962/2008).

This special issue invites researchers, academics, and practitioners to submit papers which offer contributions to the body of knowledge on sport from theoretical/philosophical and methodological and applied phenomenological perspectives. These perspectives provide two strands of thematic inquiry. The first strand draws loosely on The Body and Being (Gerber and Morgan, 1972) for inspiration. The editors welcome treatises from authors that consider:

  • Why do we ‘play’ sport: Do our experiences of ‘playing’ shed light upon the essence of sport? Is ‘playing’ sport in, and of itself, paradoxical?
  • Sport as existential movement: Is sporting movement meaningful because it encapsulates, in some form, our own human being?
  • Intersubjectivity in sporting contexts: An exploration of the relationship between the moving agent and the other.
  • Embodiment and e-sports: Are there unique characteristics of the embodied self in the virtual?

The second strand invites papers that address any of the following themes from a methodological standpoint:

  • Research perspectives on descriptive, hermeneutic, existential, and other emerging, phenomenological traditions within sport.
  • Attunement to the other: How has conducting phenomenological research in the context of sport changed you and your relationship with the world and the other?
  • Breathing life into data: An insight into the varied forms of representing lived experience in sporting contexts for example, creative nonfiction, poetry, storytelling and narratives.
  • The importance of the anecdote in phenomenological research in sport settings: How have authors used anecdote in their work in sport and related settings to illuminate lived experience, intersubjectivity and pathic understanding.

Please send articles (with “Phenomenology of Sport” in the subject line) to: Ruan Jones (guest editor of the special issue): Email: [email protected]; Gregory Swer (editor of the journal): Email: [email protected]; Jean du Toit (associate editor of the journal): Email: [email protected]

If you have any queries regarding any aspect of the theme or submission process, please contact the guest editor, Ruan Jones, at [email protected]

The date for the submission of papers is 30 June 2023.