Douglas Booth

Douglas Booth


Professor Booth began his academic career in the mid-1980s in the Development Studies Unit at the University of Natal (Durban, South Africa) as a postgraduate student and researcher. During the course of his research into politics of economic underdevelopment under apartheid, Douglas became interested in the sports boycott of South Africa which led him to research the social meaning of sports. In 1993 Douglas completed his PhD in the Politics Department at Macquarie University (Sydney) under the supervision of Colin Tatz, which traced the history of the sports boycott in South Africa. Douglas began lecturing in the social history of sports at the School of Physical Education in 1994, where he worked with John Loy, before moving to the University of Waikato as a Professor of Sport and Leisure Studies in 2004. In mid-2006 Douglas was appointed Chair of the Sport and Leisure Studies Department at Waikato until November 2007, when he returned to Otago University to take up the position as Dean of the School of Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Sciences.

Professor Booth is an executive member of the Australian Society for Sports History and serves on the editorial boards of Rethinking History, Journal of Sport History, Sport History Review and Sporting Traditions.

Disentangling race: Re-narrating apartheid sport?


This presentation involves a search for interracial entanglements in South African sport and considers how these experiences may be narrated. The presentation comprises three sections. The first provides an overview of traditional narratives of apartheid and apartheid sport that focus on race as a perpetual marker of social division. The second section shifts attention to the gaps, blind spots, mistakes, paradoxes, ironies, anomalies, ambiguities and invisibilities in the structures of apartheid that allowed for racial encounters and entanglements. I conclude with a discussion around the methodological and political implications of incorporating racial entanglements into narratives of apartheid sport.
Biographical sketch: Douglas Booth is Professor of Sport Studies and Dean of the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is the author of The Race Game (1998), Australian Beach Cultures (2001) and The Field (2005). Douglas serves on the editorial boards of Rethinking History and the Journal of Sport History and is an executive member of the Australian Society for Sport History.

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