Calvin history professor Bruce Berglund grew up playing hockey in Minnesota and was fascinated by history, but he was discouraged from combining the two interests as a graduate student. At that time sports history was frowned upon as a legitimate topic of research. Only recently have historians recognized that research into sports is an effective way to understand social and cultural change.
Next year Berglund will travel abroad as a Fulbright Global Scholar to research the history of world hockey. The Fulbright grant will allow him to spend five months doing oral history and archival research in three countries: Canada, the Czech Republic and South Korea.
“There’s been plenty written about the history of hockey, but much of this work is written from a Canadian perspective and focuses on hockey in Canada,” said Berglund. “But there’s surprisingly little research on hockey in the United States, let alone on hockey as a global sport. What I’m doing is looking at hockey in the context of the globalization of sport. This gives us a completely different view of the game.”
Berglund’s research will lead to a book on hockey’s global history that will be published as part of a series called “Sport in World History” by University of California Press.