Call for Papers

Pan-African Sports Studies: Beyond Physical Education
University of Zambia (Lusaka, Zambia)
26th to 28th March 2018

Research and scholarly work on sport in Africa have increased over the last decade taking both a local and global character. With an aim to promote and champion the African Sport Studies as a valuable interdisciplinary arena, in February 2004, the Ohio University hosted the first edition of ‘Sport in Africa’ Conference. Over the last 11 editions of this conference, a variety of themes were addressed, including Youth, Gender, Health, Communication, Development, Politics, Globalization and Global South and Subalterns, bringing together sport scholars and practitioners from African, American and European Universities.

In an effort to continue with this agenda of advancing research and knowledge on sport in Africa, The University of Zambia, through the School of Education will host the 12th edition of the Sports Africa Conference slated for 26th to 28th March 2018. The theme for the conference will be Pan-African Sports Studies: Beyond Physical Education.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Physical Education and Sport has received increased global attention as an important subject leading to the United Nations to declare 2005 as the International Year of Sport and Physical Education.[1] However, there is a need for a deeper and broader engagement in sports studies beyond Physical Education to fully comprehend sports and its role in African past and contemporary societies. This will build on the important works that scholars have done on sport as a tool for Europeans’ ‘civilizing mission,’ Africans’ seeking independence, national and supranational unity, international and development politics and conversing on the performance of African states and athletes on the international stage.[2]

Conference organizers, therefore, invite paper proposals from scholars in the following fields: anthropology, sociology, history, geography, politics, economics, African diaspora studies, policy and other multi- and inter-disciplinary perspectives to speak to the theme of Pan-African Studies: Beyond Physical Education. Please send us a 300 word abstract, along with a title, name of the author(s) and institutional affiliation, by 15th January 2018, on the following (but not limited to) sub-themes:


  • Sport education and accreditation systems.
  • Trans-national and Transcontinental Athlete Migration
  • Sports Geopolitics and Neoliberalism
  • Sports Media and Communication
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Policies in Sport Development
  • Access to Sport in Urban and Rural Africa
  • Sport Infrastructure and Stadiums
  • Sports Management and Business
  • Sport as a Contested Space
  • Para-athletes and Paralympics
  • Gendered Sites of Sport
  • Sexuality in sport
  • Fan Culture and Consumption of Sport
  • Memory and Heritage
  • (Un)Fairness and Social (In) Equalities
  • Sporting Citizenries, Citizenships and Identities
  • Sports Governance and Politics
  • Beyond Youth Sports
  • Reflexive and Auto-Ethnography
  • Sports in Art, Media, Film and Literature
  • Special Topics


For more information, submission of abstract and registration details, please go to the official website of the Conference:

To get in touch with the conference organising committee, please email:


[1] UNESCO, Quality Physical Education (QPE): Guidelines for Policy Makers (Paris: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2015), 14.

[2] William J. Baker, ‘Political Games: The Meaning of International Sport for Independent Africa’ in W. J. Baker and J. A. Mangan (eds), Sport in Africa (New York: Africana Publishing Company, 1987), 173; Peter Alegi, African Soccerscapes: How a Continent Changed the World’s Game (London: C. Hurst & Co., 2010), 1.