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Call for papers: 'Researching and Writing Irish Sporting Lives'

23 March 2022


PDF icon Call for papers: 'Researching and Writing Irish Sporting Lives'

A two day workshop and symposium dedicated to researching and uncovering the historical lives of Irish sporting men and women will take place 11–12 November 2022 in Belfast.

It will mark the forthcoming publication of 'Irish Sporting Lives' by the RIA in autumn 2022. Edited by Terry Clavin and Turlough O’Riordan of the Dictionary of Irish Biography project, the volume collects the lives of sixty Irish women and men active in sport over three centuries. The event will bring together researchers from across Ireland and the UK, many of whom having contributed lives to 'Irish Sporting Lives', to uncover explore Irish Sporting Lives.

Are you researching or does your research incorporate a significant figure in the history of sport who was born on the island of Ireland and had an influential life-long career in sport there or the wider world?

This workshop and symposium will provide an opportunity to both reflect upon the challenges of researching and writing about sporting lives and learn about some of the remarkable figures who have contributed to the making of sports history.

The half-day workshop (Friday, 11 November), aimed at PhD/ECR researchers, will provide a unique opportunity for doctoral and early career researchers to enhance their research skills and hone their approaches to biographical writing. The goal of this workshop is to gain new skills in both research and writing. Places are capped so apply early.

The symposium (Saturday, 12 November) will feature a keynote lecture by Professor Paul Rouse (University College Dublin) and a paper from Terry Clavin and Turlough O'Riordan, of the RIA's Dictionary of Irish Biography project. Presentations will be twenty minutes in length and dedicated to the biography of an Irish sporting figure.

If you would like to present your original research about a player, coach, administrator, or influencer operating in Irish sport or beyond, please submit an abstract for a 20-minute presentation to meet the following criteria:

  • A figure from any sport deceased for at least 20 years;
  • not second-or-more generation emigrants of Irish extraction – unless resettled on the island of Ireland with an ongoing connection to sport played there;
  • provides an overview marking the chosen subject’s significance, or focuses on a specific achievement or aspect of their contribution to sport;
  • you are available to present ‘in person’ at Ulster University on Saturday 12th November 2022

Please submit your abstract of c.200 words, to include:

  •  Full presentation title
  •  Your preferred title / name; affiliation; email address; short biography

Deadline: Monday, 25 April 2022 to Dr Conor Heffernan at:

Notification of presentations week commencing Monday, 2 May       

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