Strength sports, sports that focus strictly on the development and individualized application of physical power, have seen an exponential growth of women’s participation in the past decade. These sports have also diversified beyond gender to include LGBTQ, people of color, older athletes, and disabled athletes and practitioners. Traditionally, strength sports were reserved by public perceptions and athletic institutions as a masculine domain. Interdisciplinary sports scholars have noted that sport can both reinforce and reimagine identities, including gender. As such, athletic forums and the athlete’s own body become sites of political struggle, and of capitalist commodification. Since strength sports are tightly linked to the exercise of power and the performance of conventional understandings of masculinity, they are a particularly potent platform for insurgent gender practices.
This conference will together 11 female scholars representing not only different stages of academic advancement, but also a wide range of disciplines including anthropology, kinesiology, history, gender studies, political science, and digital media to take part in a workshop that will result in the publication of an edited volume “Strong A(s) F(eminist): Power in Strength Sports.
We hope that you will join us for the two public events for what will be an educational, engaging, and eye-opening experience!