Next year’s Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife will have the theme “Let the Games Begin: Sports and Recreation in New England,” and organizers are now seeking proposals for papers and presentations about sports and games of all kinds.
Here’s the 2014 Dublin Seminar’s call for papers:
The Seminar is now accepting proposals for papers and demonstrations on the history of sports, games, and recreations practiced in New England from 1620 to 1930. The organizers hope to attract a broad spectrum of topics that includes hunting and fishing, hiking, and mountain climbing; marathons and races, dance contests, and competitive sailing; the rise of organized sports like hockey, lacrosse, softball, baseball, golf, football, basketball, and bowling; and the evolution of semiprofessional and professional leagues within each sport.seminar director Peter Benes by 15 Feb 2014. For certainty, please print and fill out and form at right and mail it with a paper copy of your prospectus and vita to:
The conference encourages papers on early college sports such as sculling, swimming, diving, tennis, and skiing; displays of strength and skill such as boxing, wrestling, marksmanship, horsemanship, horseracing, and dog sledding; youth events such as soapbox derbies; and bicycle and motorized racing competitions as well as aerial events. The conference also hopes to receive submissions on activities involving animal competitions in betting games such as cockfighting, bull- and bear-baiting, hawking, and pigeon races, as well as outmoded and English games like wicket, cricket, cats, and fives, and indoor or board games such as cards, backgammon, chess, checkers, cribbage, and mah-jongg. Finally the conference will also consider sports record keeping and statistics, the language of sports, and the evolution of sports apparel.
The Seminar seeks papers that present a clear argument and are analytic rather than descriptive and frame the subject within the established context of sports and recreation history and the New England environment. These include origins (for example, European, Native American, African American, or Asian); the effect of time and technology; the participation of men, women, and children of all ages; shifts in human physiology; the increase of immigration and industrialization; and the growth of audiences.
The Seminar encourages papers that reflect original research, especially those based on primary or underused resources like letters and diaries, vital records, federal and state censuses, naturalization records, newspapers, portraits, prints and photographs, business and banking records, material culture, oral histories, and autobiographies.
Peter Benes, Director
The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife
Historic Deerfield, Inc.
P.O. Box 321
Deerfield, MA 01342
In 2015 the Dublin Seminar will explore the topic of “Living with Disabilities in New England’s Past.”