Previous Conferences

(Re-)Placing Sport: Anthropological perspectives on a global problem. Durham University, April 18-19 2024.

The International Network of Sport Anthropology welcomes scholars from all adjacent disciplines to join us at our first annual conference!

UPDATE: Information about getting to the conference can be found here.

Attendance is free and all are welcome, however please note we only have catering for the speakers.

Key Details:

Dates: Thursday, April 18th to Friday April 19th, 2024

Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 (Both Days)

Location: Dawson Building, Durham University, South Rd, Durham, DH1 3LE

Attendance: The conference will be held in-person only.

While we understand the desire to present virtually, we believe the conversations, opportunities and conviviality that spring from in-person meetings are important for cohering the sub-discipline. There are ample opportunities to join us in presenting your work virtually at the many working group meetings. Please get in touch to share your work!


Call For Papers:

Modern sport is hegemonic. Games codified in Europe during the 19th Century are now central to social lives across the globe. These sports maintain their broad appeal, which hides their problematic aspects and often insidious nature. The modernist ideals of teamwork, meritocracy and fair play – though outwardly positive – have long restricted the worldview of sporting participants. With an excessive focus on individual excellence, sports limit the potential for wider systemic change. Sport is now at the vanguard of neoliberalism, and is often mobilised to maintain the status quo as much as to uplift and ‘develop’. Such critiques of sport are not new. Calls to ‘transform sport’ (Carter et al. 2018) or even ‘end’ its largest spectacle (Boykoff 2020) have been made across various platforms in recent years. At the International Network of Sport Anthropology, we recognise the need to challenge the hegemonic force of sport. We invite researchers from all related disciplines to consider how we might place sport more appropriately in context, seek to re-place it elsewhere, or indeed replace it altogether. We challenge researchers to consider more closely what sport is, including recognising that the very idea of ‘sport’ now permeates much of social life, affecting the ways definitions are formed. We hold that the perspectives anthropology and adjacent disciplines can bring to the study of sport is critical for critique in the present moment. We invite scholars to address the problem of hegemonic sport across the globe by joining us in (re-)placing it.

We invite paper abstracts around (but not limited to) the following themes:

  • The place of sport in perpetuating inequalities
  • Ontologies of sport
  • Alternatives to sport
  • ‘Modern’ sport and ‘traditional’ games
  • The (mis)use of sporting ideals
  • Local and global sporting contexts
  • Sport policy and the ethics of practice
  • Sport-like activities in the face of sport’s hegemony
  • Methods and ethics in the study of sport



To submit a paper, please send your name, affiliation and abstract (including 3 keywords) to by 17th January. You will hear back from us by the 24th January.

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words in length. We welcome abstracts from all adjacent disciplines, and encourage scholars from ‘outside’ anthropology to contribute to the debate.


We were not expecting panel proposals, but have received several queries regarding this. If you are interested in submitting a panel, we ask that you provide a title/theme (max 250 words) and list of paper abstracts for consideration together by the call deadline of Jan 17th. There should be a maximum of 5 presenters, as panels will likely be 90 mins long. We will take the papers under consideration for the conference individually, and if we agree the panel theme works, we’ll slot you all together as a group.

CFP PDF Version (Please share)