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Running with the ball? Making a play for sport heritage archives in Higher Education contexts

Kohe, Geoff (2017) Running with the ball? Making a play for sport heritage archives in Higher Education contexts. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 24 (3). pp. 256-269. ISSN 1352-7258. (doi:10.1080/13527258.2017.1378910) (KAR id:66742)


For considerable time, academia (in particular, the Humanities) has been in an intellectual, economic and pragmatic par des deux with the culture and arts sector (in this case, heritage, museums and archives). In many ways, given their respective pursuits of scientific enquiry and learning, valuable contribution to a knowledge economy, commitment to public enlightenment, and exploration of critical and creative endeavour, a relationship between the sectors makes sense. Unity notwithstanding, the relationships have become increasingly now influenced by (en)forced contextual constraints (e.g., government policy development and intervention, neoliberal market forces, structural and ideological shifts in funding acquisition and allocation, patronage changes and demands, and/or individual political priorities) (Dubuc 2011; McCall and Gray 2014; Watson 2002). Drawing on education and heritage scholarship, and theoretical frameworks of sport culture spaces (Hardy, Loy and Booth 2009; Phillips 2012; Pinson 2017), this paper examines efforts undertaken at one specific Higher Education establishment in the United Kingdom in which institutional agendas (vis-à-vis historical and cultural foci, encouraging 'impactful' academic activity, brand exposure, economic efficiency, and community engagement) have contoured, and become entwined with, an embryonic sport heritage and archive project. Recalling similar arrangements elsewhere (Krüger 2014; Reilly, Clayton and Hughson 2014; Reilly 2015), the aim of this case study is to explore how the wider education and cultural policy context have precipitated an increasingly symbiotic and dependent relationship between university and cultural/arts initiatives. The paper considers how the impetus to develop a sports-based (basketball) heritage archive and study centre reflects the current fragilities of the two sectors, yet, concomitantly, reveals the potentials that might be developed from fostering greater intellectual and pragmatic alliances. The paper concludes by advocating the practical, political and ideological usefulness of network formation, sustainability measures and continued cross-sector dialogue.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13527258.2017.1378910
Uncontrolled keywords: heritage, sport, archives, basketball, higher education, cultural policy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Geoffery Kohe
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2018 10:36 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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