As a historian interested in the socio-cultural study of sport and physical activity, I have two primary lines of research. The first of these includes examinations – primarily historical – of global sporting events as sites of resistance and protest. But my focus remains on the lived experience of sport participants, the desire to separate organizational rhetoric from local remains, and the integration of oral history with archival sources as a methodological approach. The first two projects in this new line of research examined the 2010 VIVA World Cup as a site of the articulation of alternative national identities and explored the activist groups that protested the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver/Whistler.
My major global sporting events project is a history of the 1963 Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO), which took place in Jakarta, Indonesia. The moment is an excellent example of the convergence of Cold War rhetoric, Second World tensions, and the politics of Third World de-colonization. In addition, the political rhetoric surrounding the event stands in stark contrast to the experiences of many of the athletes who participated in the event. I have interviewed athletes from Indonesia, China, Finland, and Argentina, as well as conducting archival research in those countries as well as in Canada, the US, Brazil, France, and the Netherlands, and at the Olympic archives in Lausanne, Switzerland. This project has resulted in a journal article and a book chapter, with a book-length manuscript in preparation.
Secondly, I have an interest in the cultural representations of sport and physical activity found in both narrative and documentary films. I both teach and write about sport film, as well as being the founder and executive director of the Canadian Sport Film Festival (www.sportfilmfestival.ca).
In 2015, I began a new project titled “A People’s History of Canadian Sport.” Still in its early stages, this project will result in the production of two case studies: an examination of the gymnasium operated by the One Big Union in Winnipeg and a history of the experience of sport and recreation in Africville, the African Nova Scotian community in Halifax from which residents were forcibly evicted in the late-1960s.
My earlier research focused on spectators, from both historical and contemporary perspectives. My doctoral research was a study of hockey spectators at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens and New York’s Madison Square Gardens in the 1930s: who they were, how they spectated, and what the experience meant to them. A monograph on this subject will be published soon.
Finally, my interests as a historian of sport recognize that Winnipeg and Manitoba offer a perfect setting to broaden our historical understanding of the development of Canadian sport and physical activity and I have begun a number of smaller local sport history projects.
Current and Recent Funded Research
Field, Russell. A Night at the Gardens: Hockey Spectators in New York and Toronto in the Interwar Years. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, submitted).
Darnell, Simon, Russell Field, and Bruce Kidd. The History of Politics of Sport-for-Development: Activists, Ideologues and Reformers. (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, in preparation).
Field, Russell, (Ed.). Playing for Change: The Continuing Struggle for Sport and Recreation. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015, in press).
Field, Russell and Bruce Kidd, (Eds.). 40 Years of Sport and Social Change, 1968-2008: “To Remember is to Resist.” (New York and London: Routledge, 2011).
Special Issue/Edited Collection
MacLean, Malcolm, and Russell Field. (Eds.) “Sport beyond the nation state,” National Identities, 16 (4), 2014.
Popovic, Megan, and Russell Field. (Eds.) “Autobiography and Autoethnography in Sport History,” Sport History Review, 44 (1), 2013.
Kidd, Bruce and Russell Field, (Eds.). “‘To Remember is to Resist:’ 40 Years of Sport and Social Change, 1968-2008.” Sport in Society, 13(1) January 2010.
Kidd, Bruce and Russell Field, (Eds.). ‘To Remember is to Resist:’ 40 Years of Sport and Social Change, 1968-2008. New York and London: Routledge, 2011.
Field, Russell, and Bruce Kidd. “Canada and the Pan American Games,” International Journal of the History of Sport, 2015, invited submission, in preparation.
Field, Russell. “Remembering the Remembering,” Sport History Review, 46 (1), 2015, pp. 184-6.
Field, Russell. “Chasing My Grandfather’s Shadow: The Transformation of Geza Feldman and the Role of Physical Activity in the Life of George Field” [selected for and reprinted in a special Best of Sport History Review issue], Sport History Review, 46 (1), 2015, pp. 187-210.
Field, Russell, “Toques and turbans, sticks and show tunes: Incorporating the “other” within Canadian hockey films.” Amodern, No. 3: Sport and Visual Culture, 2014, http://amodern.net/article/toques-and-turbans/.
Field, Russell, “For Kick and Country: The 2010 VIVA World Cup and sport as a site for expressions of alternate ‘national’ identities.” National Identities, 16 (4), 2014, pp. 377-93.
MacLean, Malcolm, and Russell Field. “Performing nations, disrupting states: Sporting identities in nations without states,” National Identities, 16 (4), 2014, pp. 283-90.
Field, Russell, “The Public Sportscaster: Docudrama, national memory, sport history.” Journal of Sport History, 41 (2), 2014, pp. 241-50.
Field, Russell. “Re-entering the Sporting World: China's Sponsorship of the 1963 Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO).” The International Journal of the History of Sport, 31 (15), 2014, pp. 1852-67.
Field, Russell, “Representing ‘The Rocket:’ The Filmic Use of Maurice Richard in Canadian history.” Journal of Sport History, 41 (1), 2014, pp. 15-28.
Field, Russell, “The Struggle for Canadian Sport [The Test of Time].” Journal of Sport History, 41 (1), 2014, pp. 129-40.
Field, Russell. “Chasing My Grandfather’s Shadow: The Transformation of Geza Feldman and the Role of Physical Activity in the Life of George Field.” Sport History Review, 44 (1), 2013, pp. 53-76.
Field, Russell, “‘How we think about hockey, and ourselves’: Television, the 1972 Summit Series, and the construction of a pan-Canadian identity.” Canadian Issues/Thèmes canadiens, Winter 2012, pp. 40-45.
Field, Russell. "'To Remember is to Resist:' An Introduction." Sport in Society, 13(1), January 2010; pp. 6-11.
Field, Russell. “Constructing the Preferred Spectator: Arena Design and Operation and the Consumption of Hockey in 1930s Toronto.” The International Journal of the History of Sport, 25 (6), May 2008, pp. 649-677.
Field, Russell. “Manufacturing memories and directing dreams: Commemoration, community, and the closing of Maple Leaf Gardens.” International Journal of Canadian Studies, 35, 2007, pp. 61-93.
Field, Russell. “The Ties That Bind: A 2003 Case Study of Toronto’s Sport Elite and the Operation of Commercial Sport.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 41 (1), 2006, pp. 29-58.
Field, Russell. “Passive Participation: The Selling of Spectacle and the Construction of Maple Leaf Gardens, 1931.” Sport History Review, 33(1), May 2002, pp. 35-50.
Field, Russell. “Splitting the World of International Sport: The 1963 Games of the New Emerging Forces and the politics of challenging the global sport order.” In Dart, Jon, and Stephen Wagg, (Eds.). Sport, Protest and Globalisation: Stopping Play (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, submitted).
Field, Russell. “For Jets and Country: A month-long reminder of how sport matters” [Introduction]. In Field, Russell, (Ed.). Playing for Change: The Continuing Struggle for Sport and Recreation. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015, in press).
Field, Russell. “The New ‘Culture Wars’: The Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Public Protest, and the Politics of Resistance.” In Field, Russell, (Ed.). Playing for Change: The Continuing Struggle for Sport and Recreation. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015, in press).
Field, Russell. “Sport and the Canadian Immigrant: Physical Expressions of Cultural Identity within a Dominant Culture, 1896-1945.” In Janelle Joseph, Simon Darnell, and Yuka Nakamura, (Eds.). Race and Sport in Canada: Intersecting Inequalities (Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2012).
Field, Russell. “Stoic Observers or Fanatic Fans? Women Ice Hockey Spectators in 1930s North America.” In Kim Toffoletti and Peter Mewett, (Eds.). Sport and its Female Fans (New York and London: Routledge, 2012).
Field, Russell. “‘There’s more people here tonight than at a first night of the Metropolitan’: Professional Hockey Spectatorship in the 1920s in New York and Toronto”. In Andrew Holman. (Ed.). Canada’s Game? Critical Essays on Ice Hockey and Identity. (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009).
2012 Winner, Outreach Award, University of Manitoba
Current Graduate Students
Courses to be taught in 2015-2016
PERS 1500 – Foundations of Kinesiology and Physical Education
PERS 3170 – Canadian Sport History
PERS 4200 – Special Topic: The Olympics and Global Sporting Events