Please note that the 2021 call for papers will be announced in late 2020. The information included below is for informational purposes only and should be used to develop a submission.


Forty-Eighth Annual Convention of the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH)

NASSH 2020 will be held from May 22-25, 2020 at the newly redesigned DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago. Located near  Michigan Avenue shopping and the sights of Navy Pier, only two blocks from the famous Magnificent Mile, the hotel is close to Chicago’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment. It is less than 45 minutes from Chicago O’Hare and Midway Airports.

Submit a Proposal: Proposals for the 2020 conference are no longer being accepted.

View the Step by Step Guide to Submitting your Abstract

Deadline for Submissions: February 7, 2020 11:59 PM CST

Notification of Acceptances: March 1, 2020 

Conference: May 22-25, 2020

Submissions will require that you register for an account using your preferred email and contact information. You will be asked to select the type of presentation you wish to give and then provide the following information:

  1. Title of Presentation, Panel or Session
  2. Name/s of Presenter/s including email addresses and institutional affiliations
  3. Abstract (250-300 words maximum)

The Program Committee encourages NASSH members and others interested in the scholarly study of sport history to submit proposals in three traditional categories:

  1. Individual Presentations: Proposals for individual twenty-minute long papers which the program committee will then group into appropriate ninety minute sessions. Please contact Murray Phillips, The University of Queensland (m.phillips@uq.edu.au) with any inquiries.
  2. Panel Presentations: Panels should address a significant topic in sport history and will comprise a ninety-minute session format with a dedicated Chair or Moderator. Please note that prior to submission of a panel presentation, advance communication with the Conference Program Committee about proposed panel presentations is strongly recommended.  Please contact Sarah Fields, University of Colorado Denver (Sarah.Fields@ucdenver.edu) with any inquiries.
  3. Thematic Sessions: Thematic sessions are ninety-minute long and are typically composed of three presenters at twenty minutes each, a fifteen-minute commentary, and fifteen -minute discussion. Sessions containing 4 thematically connected papers has also been a format used in the past. Please contact Murray Phillips, The University of Queensland (m.phillips@uq.edu.au) with any inquiries.

The Program Committee also encourages NASSH members and others interested in the scholarly study of sport history to submit proposals in the new forms of presentation for the 2020 conference:

  • Bullet Presentations: Bullet presentations are seven-minute long presentations that are best suited to introduce new ideas, seek advice on a research problem, or entice collaboration from conference attendees. All bullet submissions will be grouped together into a single fast-paced ninety-minute session. For an example of a seven-minute presentation style see https://www.pechakucha.com/. Please contact Stephen Townsend, The University of Queensland (s.townsend@uq.edu.au) with any inquiries.
  • Contemporary Sport Sessions: There is the opportunity for the conference program to run ninety-minute sessions with the express intent of addressing issues/topics in contemporary sport that require critical historical analysis. Please contact Thomas Fabian, St. Francis Xavier University (tfabian@stfx.ca) with any inquiries.
  • Poster Presentations: If your work lends itself to visual presentation – photographs, maps, material culture, or statistical evidence that can be presented graphically – think about proposing a poster. Posters will be grouped together for display with a dedicated discussion session. For suggestions see https://www.historians.org/annual-meeting/resources-and-guides/poster-resources and https://colinpurrington.com/tips/poster-design/. Please contact Chad Seifried, Louisiana State University (cseifried@lsu.edu) with any inquiries.
  • Virtual (prerecorded) Presentations: Some presenters will not able to make the conference in person to present their work and NASSH has instituted the category of virtual presentations. These individual presentations will be similar to face-to-face individual presentations (20 minutes) which the program committee will then group into appropriate sessions. Please contact Russell Field, University of Manitoba (Russell.Field@umanitoba.ca) with any inquiries.

Please submit all proposals to the online abstract submission page at https://www.conftool.org/nassh2020/. A guide to using the submission system including screenshots is available at https://conference.nassh.org/. Individuals with questions regarding Conftool and the submission process should consult the NASSH2020 submission guide posted to conference.nassh.org/. Additional questions can be referred to conftool@nassh.org.

Letters of acceptance or rejection will be sent by February 15, 2020. The Program Committee will evaluate all submissions according to their individual merit, contribution to the field, and fit within the total program. Proposals that do not provide all the information requested will be returned to the author(s). For general enquires please contact Murray Phillips (m.phillips@uq.edu.au).

Implicit Agreement to Attend Conference. Submission of an abstract indicates the author’s and co- authors’ intent to register for the conference at the appropriate conference fee and, for one author, to be available to present on any of the three days of the conference. Again, authors must be NASSH members in good standing-that is, membership dues must be paid by February 29, 2020, to be on the final program.

Publication of Abstracts Pre-Conference. Accepted abstracts will be posted to the NASSH website prior to the conference using a Creative Commons CC-BY attribution license. Authors will have an opportunity to edit them prior to their publication.

Program Committee

Chair: Murray Phillips, The University of Queensland (m.phillips@uq.edu.au)

Committee Members:

Thomas Fabian, St. Francis Xavier University (tfabian@stfx.ca)

Russell Field, University of Manitoba (Russell.Field@umanitoba.ca)

Sarah Fields, University of Colorado Denver (Sarah.Fields@ucdenver.edu)

Chad Seifried, Louisiana State University (cseifried@lsu.edu);

Steven Townsend, The University of Queensland (s.townsend@uq.edu.au)

Mentorship Program

In an attempt to foster a positive community environment, build inter-generational relationships, and offer guidance for those entering the field, the mentorship program will provide mentees with an orientation to the society, an introduction to the intricacies of the field, and a basis for future collaborations and networking. First time NASSH scholars will be matched with experienced NASSH members in advance of the conference and the mentorship will be extended during the conference. The contact person is Thomas Fabian, St. Francis Xavier University (tfabian@stfx.ca)

Graduate Student Information

Graduate students who have a paper accepted for the 2020 NASSH convention are eligible for a grant from the Roberta Park Graduate Travel Fund. No application is needed; treasurer Thomas Hunt will distribute checks at the conference. Annual interest from the Park Fund is divided equitably among all graduate students presenting at the conference to help defray the costs of travel and accommodation at the convention. The amount of the grant is expected to be approximately $300 in 2020. Please note that graduate students who have their paper accepted are expected to have the financial wherewithal to attend the conference, no matter the amount of the contribution from the Roberta Park Graduate Travel Fund.

Graduate students are also encouraged to enter the NASSH Graduate Essay Competition .

General Guidelines for NASSH Presentations

*(“presenter” refers to authors and all co-authors)

  1. With the exception of prerecorded (virtual) presentations, individuals whose papers are accepted by the program committee must agree to present the paper in person and to attend and participate in other conference sessions.
  2. Each presenter must be a NASSH member in good standing.
  3. Each presenter must register for the conference.
  4. NASSH encourages the inclusion of diverse perspectives and communities at its conference and in its work. Those submitting proposals for panels are advised to ensure that the constitution of the panel reflects, or comments upon, the constitution of the field and/or research topic that is being addressed.
  5. Except for supporting graduate students through the Roberta Park Fund, NASSH pays no honoraria or any other expenses for speakers to prepare papers or to attend the conference.
  6. Papers are to be original works, not published or presented in full elsewhere.
  7. Individuals whose abstracts are accepted by the program committee must deliver the paper summarized by the abstract and not some other piece of work.
  8. Presenters can have their names associated with two papers at the NASSH 2020 conference.
  9. Presenters should not be the moderator of the session in which they present.
  10. All abstracts accepted for presentation will be posted on the NASSH Website prior to the conference and be published in the annual NASSH Proceedings. It is essential that presenters adhere to the above-mentioned Guidelines For Submitting Individual Abstracts.
  11. Moderators will firmly enforce time limits for papers.
  12. LCD projectors will be available. Please let the conference hosts know if speakers or other media are needed. They may not be able to accommodate all requests.
  13. The deadline for submitting completed papers to commentator(s) and to other members of the session is May 1, 2020. Commentators have some autonomy in working with presenters on this deadline.
  14. Participants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with recommendations on accessibility of presentations and multimedia-based materials. Please consult the World Wide Web

Consortium’s Web Initiative Guidelines on Presentation Accessibility: https://www.w3.org/WAI/training/accessible