Dr Matthew Klugman

PhD (UniMelb), MA (UniMelb), BSc Hons (UniMelb)

Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow, Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living

Matthew Klugman is the Deputy Director of the Sport in Society Research Progam and the leader of the Sport, Heritage & Cultures Research Group. Matthew researches and teaches in the history of sport, and his research interests include those who love and hate sport, and the intersections of sport, passions, bodies, race, gender, sexuality, religion, and migration.

Matthew is currently the recipient of an Australian Research Council DECRA (Discovery Early Career Researcher Award) Fellowship for 2013-16 which examines the sports mania that developed in Melbourne, Manchester and Boston from the mid 1800s.

In 2015 Matthew's most recent book - Black and Proud: The Story of an Iconic AFL Photo (NewSouth), co-authored with Dr Gary Osmond (University of Queensland) - received a New South Wales Premier's Literary Award (Multicultural Category). The book was preceded by a (2012) Research Fellowship and (2013) exhibition at the National Sports Museum marking the twentieth anniversary of the Indigenous AFL player Nicky Winmar responding to racial abuse by lifting his jumper and pointing with pride to his skin.

In 2014 Matthew was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of History, Boston College, and the International Football Institute at the University of Central Lancashire. And in 2013 Matthew received the Vice-Chancellor's Peak Award for Excellence in Research and Research Training (Early Career Researcher).

Matthew is also the Treasurer of the Australian Society for Sports History.

Recent publications


Klugman, M and Osmond, G (2013) Black and Proud: The Story of an Iconic AFL Photo, Sydney: NewSouth.

Klugman, M (2009) Passion Play: Love, Hope and Heartbreak at the Footy, Melbourne: Hunter Publishers.

Refereed journal articles

Klugman, M (2015), ‘“I Love Him in an Absolutely Gay Way”: Heterodox Fragments of the Erotic Desires, Pleasures, and Masculinity of Male Sports Fans’, Men and Masculinities, 18, no. 2: 193-213.

Klugman, M (2014), ‘“My Natural Environment has Provided Me with about Fifty Different Ways of Expressing Frustration”: Mining the Visceral Angst of Australian Rules Football Followers’, Emotion, Space and Society, 12: 24:31.

Ricatti, F and Klugman M (2013), ‘“Connected to Something”: Soccer and the Transnational Passions, Memories and Communities of Sydney's Italian Migrants’, International Journal of the History of Sport, 30, no. 5, 469–483.

Klugman, M (Fall 2012), ‘Gendered Pleasures, Power, Limits, and Suspicions: Exploring the Subjectivities of Female Supporters of Australian Rules Football’, Journal of Sport History, 39, no. 3: 415-430.

Klugman, M and Ricatti, F (May 2012), ‘“Roma Non Dimentica I Suoi Figli”: Love, Sacrifice and the Emotional Attachment to Football Heroes’, Modern Italy, 17, no.2: 237-249.

Refereed chapters

Klugman, M (2015), ‘“Get Excited People!”: Online Fansites and the Circulation of the Past in the Preseason Hopes of Sports Followers’, in Gary Osmond and Murray Phillips (eds), Sport History in the Digital Era, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 132-156.

Symons, C and Klugman, M (2014), ‘The Silence After the Storm: The Akermanis Affair, Sexuality, Masculinity and Australian Rules football’, in Lisa Featherstone, Robert Reynolds and Rebecca Jennings (eds), Acts of Love and Lust: Histories of Sexuality in Australia, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK, 151-173.

Klugman, M (2013), ‘“It’s That Feeling Sick in My Guts That I Think I Like the Most”: Sport, Pleasure, and Embodied Suffering’, in Richard Pringle and Murray Phillips (eds), Examining Sport Histories: Power, Paradigms, and Reflexivity, Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology, 159-191.

Conference presentations - Invited presentations

Klugman, M (2014), ‘A New Mania? Tracing the Emergence of Passionate Modern Spectator Sport Cultures in Manchester, Melbourne and Boston’, presented at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary University of London, June 2014.

Klugman, M (2014), ‘“I Feel Like Throwing Up and I’m Having Trouble Swallowing. And the Beauty of it is You Want to Feel Like This Every Day”’, presented at the Centre for Australian Studies, University of Copenhagen, April 2014.

Klugman, M (2012), ‘"It's That Feeling Sick in My Guts That I Think I Like the Most": Embodied Suffering and Sport", presented at the ‘History Research Seminar Series’, School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Klugman, M (2011), 'Sites of Passion, Sites of Memory: How Readings of the Past Shape Online Sport Fansites', presented at the Thirty-Ninth Annual Convention of the North American Society for Sport History, Austin, Texas.

Klugman, M (2008), ‘“But I'll Love Them to the Day I Die": The Passions of Australian Football Fans', presented at "Love and Psychoanalysis", the XVIth National Conference of the Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis, University of Melbourne.

Klugman, M (2008), 'The Tragic Narratives of Traumatic Football Defeats', presented at the 'Brown Bag Seminar Series', School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne.

Klugman, M (2006), 'Group Love (and Hate): the Identity and Desires of Football Fans', presented to the Melbourne Lacan Circle.

Conference presentations - Selected presentations

Klugman, M (2015), ‘We already hear the sneerers talking about the ‘football mania’, Paper Presented at the Worlds of Football III, Victoria University, January 2015.

Klugman, M and Ricatti, F (2014), ‘Home Grounds? Migration, Sport and the Spatial Dimensions of Cities’, presented at the Sports, Globalization and Migration Workshop, Sandbjerg, Denmark, June 2014.

Klugman, M (2014), ‘Cranks, Fans and Barrackers Through a Digital Lens ’, presented at the North American Society for Sport History, Colorado, May 2014.

Klugman, M (2013), 'The Beginnings of Modern Mania: Charting the Emergence of Passionate Association Football Fans in Manchester and Australian Rules Football Fans in Melbourne’, presented at the Football 150 Conference, Manchester, England.

Klugman, M (2012), ‘“Pants Full of Bone”: The Erotics of Watching Men Playing Sport', paper presented at "After Homosexuality: The Legacies of Gay Liberation", La Trobe University/Victoria University.


  • AHE2112 History of Sport
  • AHS0114 Football Studies
  • AHX0015 Sport, Culture and Research Seminar

Postgraduate research students and fellows

Completions: Ashley Humphrey - Honours

Current supervision: Co-supervisor of Dan Eddy, MA

Research grants

  • 2012: Australian Research Council DECRA, $373,300.
  • 2010: Australian Football League and South Australian National Football League, with Prof H Westerbeek, Prof D Farrow, Prof R Polman, A/Prof Bob Stewart, A/Prof R Hess, and Dr D Panchuk, $75,000.
  • 2010 Internal research grants from Victoria University and University of the Sunshine Coast with Dr Francesco Ricatti, total $25,800.
  • 2010: Disability Sport Recreation with A/Prof Rob Hess, $10,000.
  • 2002: Victorian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, $100,000.

Professional membership

  • Australian Society for Sports History
  • Australian Historical Association
  • North American Society for Sport History

Appearances in the media

Matthew is an experienced media commentator whose work has appeared in the Age, Herald-Sun, The Conversation, and been featured in documentaries, TV programs, and on ABC and commercial radio stations throughout Australia.


Areas of expertise

  • Anti-sport
  • Disability and sport
  • Gender and sport
  • History and culture of Australian Rules Football
  • Migration and sport
  • Passions of sport fans
  • Race and sport
  • Religion and sport
  • Sexuality and sport

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