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West Liberty University hosts international conference

WEST LIBERTY — For the second year in a row, West Liberty University hosted the annual Conference of the Sport Literature Association, which attracts attendance from around the globe. Presenters for the conference, held virtually June 23-26, were from Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, the United Kingdom, and every time zone in the United States.

The virtual conference was facilitated by WLU English professor Jeremy Larance, who also serves as the university’s assistant provost for academic innovation and strategic planning.

“I was pleased to host the 38th annual Conference for the Sport Literature Association for the second year in a row, in a virtual format that allowed everyone, no matter the travel restrictions in various countries, to participate,” Larance said.

In attendance were professors, creative writers, historians and journalists, according to Larance. Papers and readings were in the area of sport literature: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama or film.

This year’s keynote speaker was Janice Forsyth, member of the Fisher Cree First Nation and associate professor in sociology and director of Indigenous studies at Western University in London, Ontario. Her research focuses on Indigenous-settlers’ relations in Canada told through the lens of sport.

Her 2020 monograph, “Reclaiming Tom Longboat: Indigenous Self-Determination in Canadian Sport,” won the 2021 North American Society for Sport History Monographs Book Award.

The Sport Literature Association is an international organization devoted to the study of sport in literature and culture. Initiated in the 1980s, the organization now has several hundred members around the world and sponsors an annual conference in a different North American location each summer.

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