North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Conference

I am presenting (with Madeleine Pape, University of Wisconsin) the paper, Dilemmas of Gender and Global Sports Governance: An Invitation to Southern Theory, at the 2017 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Conference, scheduled for November 1st-4th in Windsor, Ontario. The incorporates insights from Southern Theory to examine how Northern worldviews profoundly shape gender-specific sports policy. It highlights two dilemmas, using illustrative case studies. First, it considers questions of gender and regulation, as evidenced in the gender verification regimes of track-and-field. Then, it addresses the limits of gender and empowerment in relation to sport for development and peace initiatives’ engagement with the diverse experiences and perspectives in non-Western contexts, particularly with regard to Pacific Island contexts.

More about the conference theme is below.

Sport Matters: Physics, Politics, Performances, Pedagogies

While exigencies and politics may have changed, in the 37 years that the members of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) have convened their annual meetings, two things have remained constant: sport is both matter and sport matters. In this year’s meeting, we invite participants to explore the double meaning of “matter(s)” in the context of contemporary sport and physical culture. That is, we invite scholars to explore how physical and material bodies in/of motion (and at play) both constitute, and are constituted by, broader political, economic, and cultural arrangements. At an historical moment defined in North America (and beyond) by growing degrees of xenophobia, ethnic nationalism, global neoliberalism, heteronormative patriarchy, ableist doxa, environmental collapse, and anti-science politics, we believe that bodies performing therein serve as critical ‘matters of concern’ for understanding our present condition.

In keeping with the conference theme, sessions may highlight various ways in which scholars are exploring the double meaning of sport-related matter (as both consequential and substantial) and the alliterative intersections that make it so (e.g. politics-physics, politics-performances, politics-pedagogies, physics-performances, physics-pedagogies, performances-pedagogies). For this year’s event, we encourage scholars doing theoretical, empirical, and interventionist work on sporting and physically active bodies and body cultures to bring together scholarship and activism that seeks to make sense of and provide resistance to the uneven politics working against bodies in motion and at play. The conference will feature presentations from a wide variety of approaches, including but not limited to: activism, sport for peace and development, social work, critical coaching, critical pedagogy, policy and governance, engagement with the media, self-authored media (e.g. blogging, podcasts), and others. The full range of theoretical and methodological will also be represented, including: poststructuralism, postmodernism, new materialism, participatory action research, ethnography, discourse analysis, post-positivism, critical management studies, media studies, and of course sociological theory and methods.