Lindsay Pattison

2011, PhD History

Project Title: "The Dynamics of the Disc": Ultimate (Frisbee), Community & Memory, 1968-2011.

Thesis Link:

Lindsay is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of New Brunswick (St. John's). Invented by a group of high school students in New Jersey in 1968, Ultimate has rapidly evolved into a worldwide competitive amateur sport, and enjoyed exponential growth as a popular recreational game that is currently played in organized leagues in most major urban centres in North America, by men, women, and youth.  Ultimate is also a sport that prides itself on its (real or imagined) difference from mainstream sport. Ultimate, therefore, is subject to two over-arching, and sometimes conflicting, narratives: a post-modern narrative of difference; and a liberal narrative of growth and progress and Ultimate players struggle to negotiate this ambivalence. Yet, to many of the people who play, Ultimate is more than a sport, it is a community.  By looking at sport through the lens of community, we can discern the ways in which sport is not just about the human body, it is also about the heart and the mind.  People invest in sport emotionally and psychologically as well as physically and form attachments to spaces and places, ideas and practices, and to the people with whom they share their experiences.  Examining the thematic links between and across stories told by Ultimate players, ‘The Dynamics of the Disc’ is an oral history project that makes an important contribution to an under-researched area of Canadian sport history.

Selected Publications:

PATTISON, Lindsay. “Squatters to Stewards: Finding Space, Making Place, and Ultimate Parks, Inc,” Sport History Review (May 2012).

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