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Sports in Africa conference examines politics and globalization

OHIO symposium to discuss sports, development
Feb 12, 2010
By Krista Bradley

As one of the only conferences of its type in the world, the sixth Sports in Africa Symposium will continue to explore multiple dimensions of African sport March 5 and 6 at Ohio University.

?In the United States, we probably have the only conference about Africa and sports. In the world, it?s one of a few,? said Gerard Akindes, event coordinator and a technology coordinator at Ohio University.

This year?s conference will focus on politics and globalization, featuring a keynote presentation and 20 interdisciplinary paper presentations by scholars from as far away as Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa. 

Conference papers will cover topics such as sports politics, global media networks, Africa?s contribution to global sports and what it means for South Africa to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The symposium is supported by an electronic journal, Impumelelo: the Interdisciplinary Electronic Journal of African Sports, organized by Ohio University faculty.

By tackling ?Sports in Africa? in a two-pronged fashion -- the symposium and the electronic journal -- coordinators hope to explore the idea that sports is about more than competition or business.

?The idea is to bring sports issues to the table, while also talking about African studies. Because the field of sports in general is so diverse and there?s so much to learn, we try to promote a more intellectual approach to sports,? Akindes said.

In the past, Sports in Africa Symposium themes have included gender, disability, youth and development, all in relation to sports.

The symposium?s originality has led to recognition in the field and the bestowment of an 1804 Grant by Ohio University. The grant created the graduate class, ?Sports and Development? for international studies students.

?The conference is our most visible effort and has helped to establish a form of reputation. Our past conferences are a history we can work from, which allows us to accomplish our goals,? Akindes said.

Click here to register for the Sports in Africa Symposium. The registration deadline is Feb. 21.



Published: Feb 12, 2010 2:48 PM

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