Dr Matthew Klugman from Victoria University will present his paper, titled “‘What a Glorious Cloud-Shattering Eruption of Profanity’: The Pleasures and Contested Meanings of Barracking in Pre-First World War Melbourne”, today at the first History Seminar of Trimester Two. Dr Klugman is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow in the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living at Victoria University.
What can we learn from the popularisation of a new term? This paper uses the emergence of “barracking” in late 1800s to trace the development of what seemed to be a new phenomenon of passionate spectating. At issue are the disturbing new embodied cultures of pleasure and suffering that Australian Rules football followers partook in, and contested questions of disease, class, gender, Britishness, Australian-ness, and the unexpected ways that purported peripheries could shape the language of the centre. An underlying interest here concerns the way sporting institutions that have been seen as emblematic of modernity could also foster experiences and sentiments that some critics viewed as dangerously antithetical to the project of modernity.