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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities

Cultures of Basketball

22.-23. November 2013



Conference Announcement

Organizers Eva Boesenberg (HU Berlin), Anke Ortlepp (LMU Munich / University of Kassel) and Christoph Ribbat (University of Paderborn) are pleased to announce the conference "Cultures of Basketball". The two-day symposium will be held at HU Berlin, November 22-23, 2013. All events are free and open to the public.

We will address basketball as a cultural practice and an important point of reference in a host of debates concerning 'race' and gender, constructions of local as well as national identities, the body, urban space, performativity, creativity and commerce. Our conference moves North American discussions of the sport, which tend to focus on black masculinities, to a transnational context, highlighting the
interrelations between US American and European basketball in particular.

Topics of conference papers range from parallels between LeBron James and Othello to Native American Rezball, the phenomenon known as 'Linsanity', and athletes' hairstyles. Speakers represent the fields of sociology (Scott Brooks), cultural anthropology (Richard King), American literature and culture studies (Valerie Babb, Seulghee Lee, Martin
Lüthe, Alexander Starre), American history (Silke Hackenesch, Christian Orban), education (Desmond Miller), and legal studies (Albrecht Cordes). The conference concludes with a reading by German author Thomas Pletzinger, a film screening and conversation featuring Austrian film director Katharina Weingartner, and a panel discussion among athletes
and basketball activists (Henning Harnisch, Wilbert Olinde, Heike Peters, and Marvin Willoughby).

The conference is generously funded by the German Association of American Studies, the Amerika-Institut at LMU Munich, Humboldt University Berlin, and the /DFG-//Graduiertenkolleg Automatismen/ (University of Paderborn).