[Air-l] CFP: Virtual Sport as New Media

Leonard, David djl at ad.wsu.edu
Mon Jun 18 05:45:18 PDT 2007


Call for Papers
Virtual Sport as New Media 
Special Issue of Sociology of Sport Journal
Guest Editor:  David J. Leonard

Daily, sports fans throughout the globe visit various sports websites, participate in fantasy sports, celebrate and criticize teams, players, and sporting cultures on blogs, in discussion groups, and list serves, and enjoy immense pleasure in playing sports video games. Each of these media, to varying degrees, embodies what has come to be known as new media, a catch-all phrases that includes everything from the Internet to the Blogosphere to video games, virtual reality, and other examples in which media technologies are defined by increased accessibility, fluidity, and interactivity.  In 1998, David Rowe found that Yahoo UK and Irish Search engines offered 4,271 categories and 14,591 sites devoted to sport.  As of 2007, a U.S. Google search landed 822,000,000 sports websites, yet yielded few scholarly inquiries of sports and new media, especially in regards to race, gender, sexuality, and nation. Moreover, when much of the video game industry faced losses in sales in 2005, sports games remained strong within the industry, accounting for more than thirty percent of all video games sales. In total, sports video games represent a $1 billion industry, a fact that demonstrates the economic power and cultural significance of sports video games.  Yet, to date, the literature within sports sociology, amongst commentators and scholars of global sports culture, has with few exceptions remained relatively silent to the cultural, political, sociological, economic, and overall significance of new media within a globalized sports culture. While there are countless examples and evidence of the increasing significance of new media within global sporting cultures, the academic community continues to lag behind in terms of analysis and critical interrogation.  This special issue attempts to bridge the gap between old media, and new, reflecting on the ways in which new media cultures infect and affect fans, teams, sporting cultures. Possible topics include but are not limited to: sports video games; sporting blogs; the Internet and global sports culture; white masculinity and virtual sports culture; fantasy sports; sports discussion groups; ESPN.com and virtual sports media; virtual sport as minstrelsy; the intersections of race, nation, sexuality, gender, and class with sports and new media; race, gender and fantasy sports leagues; analysis of the cultural affects of Youtube, Myspace, or Google video on sporting cultures; sports talk radio and podcasting/the Internet (particularly as they relate to race and gender); virtual sports culture and Diaspora: Sports as imagined community; links between racism, sexism and other institutions of domination and virtual sporting cultures, and, virtual sports culture as racial/ gendered performance. This issue will consider textual, empirical (data-based), case study, and/or theory-based papers grounded in sociological theory and related to virtual sports culture, but is especially interested in papers that are empirically-based and those that critically engage the links between virtual sport and race, gender, sexuality, nation or globalization, as well as papers that push analysis into realms of comparison (beyond the U.S.). Authors should follow the ‘Instructions to contributors’ found in every issue of the Sociology of Sport Journal.  Essays should be roughly 6,000 words, excluding endnotes and reference list. Questions should be sent to Dr. David J. Leonard, djl at wsu.edu.  All submissions are due by March 1, 2008 and should be submitted on line to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hk_ssj 




Dr. David Leonard
Comparative Ethnic Studies
Washington State University




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