July 15, 2012 Had a visit from Professor Keiko Ikeda. Very refreshing to have a Japanese perspective on sports history. We tend to be very Eurocentric about the way we think about sport and talking to colleagues from elsewhere is very useful in a way that just reading about Eastern sport does not address. The wider the circle of academic contacts, the more we begin to move our thinking forward.
We discussed our future contributions to a collection on the work of J A Mangan, whose work on athleticism is so well known. Mangan was one of the few British sports historians in the 1980s and 1990s to work hard to get far eastern scholars more involved in the field. The focus of my paper is going to be on the need to develop new approaches to athleticism’s study as the literature on masculinity gets wider.
We also discussed early nineteenth century sport, and the importance of the role of journalists such as Pierce Egan in helping to shape the ways in which people talk about sport.