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  • Introduction
  • Murray G. Phillips

This forum comprises three articles written by Sarah K. Fields, Andrew D. Linden, and Maureen Smith. The first life of these articles was as presentations during the 43rd Annual Convention of the North American Society for Sport History held at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, in May 2015. What joins the arguments in these essays together is that their authors were engaged, in different ways, by the “State of the Field: Sports in American History” published by the Journal of American History (2014). The lead article in the Journal of American History was written by Amy Bass, an associate professor of history at the College of New Rochelle. Six other historians, who have extensively written about sport, added smaller commentaries on the “State of the Field.” For Fields, the Journal of American History articles encouraged her to reflect about the structure of higher education and how sport studies offers a potentially liberating model for universities of the twenty-first century; for Linden, the state-of-the-field debate prompted a large-scale methodological, epistemological, and ontological analysis of the articles published over forty years in the Journal of Sport History; for Smith, Amy Bass’s article prompted an assessment of the challenges sport historians face, including both those who work in history departments and those who work in kinesiology departments. These articles are published in the spirit of engagement and debate, in the spirit of critically evaluating our field, and in the spirit of an appreciation of the contributions of sport historians over the last half century. [End Page 55]

Murray G. Phillips
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences
The University of Queensland


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