Historical Social Research

Jörn Eiben & Olaf Stieglitz: Depicting Sporting Bodies – Visual Sources in the Writing of Sport History. An Introduction. [Abstract]

Using an American sport photography from 1911 as a starting point, this introduction develops some fundamental thoughts about using visual material – paintings, photography, film, and related visual representations of sporting activities – as valuable sources for writing sport history as cultural history. The essay underlines two important trends within historiography that frame this approach: First, the history of the body as an important perspective that particularly underlines the cultural turn within history writing, and, second, the remarkably growing interest in visual studies that emphasize the multiple ways in which modes of watching and displaying structure our daily lives. Combining these two developments, the introduction suggests a sport history that takes the intrinsic visuality of sports seriously and that tests its potentials.

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