Upcoming Panel: Sporting Transitions in a Transitional World

We are sponsoring the panel Sporting Transitions in a Transitional World at the upcoming AAA conference in Toronto, ‘Transitions’. The panel will be held from 12:15pm – 1:45pm on Sunday 19th November, in the Toronto Metro Convention Centre, room 802 A.


Sport, as a global institution, is in transition. State actors and transnational sporting organizations maintain the trend of hosting ever larger, more extravagant, expensive, and environmentally costly mega-events (i.e., The World Cup, The Olympic Games). National governing bodies of sport are struggling to address harm and abuse withintheir organizations and on the fields of play (CBC Sports 2023; BBC News 2023). Grassroots sport collectives become pitted against transnational governing bodies seeking transitions to more just, fair, equitable, and inclusive ways of conducting and participating in sport. Simultaneously, scholars have long shown how sportreproduces gendered, racialized and ableist inequalities, leading some to call for “the end of sport.” The movement to “transform sport” (Carter et al. 2018) targets the hierarchies and institutional structures incontemporary sport by unpicking the power relations which perpetuate discrimination within it. We invite participants to consider the numerous transitions happening both of sports and in sports. As scholars, themes of becoming, in-betweenness, and liminalities all open space for a radical reshaping of our understanding of the embodied practices (Crawley 2021; Rana 2022), structures (Besnier et al. 2021), and ways knowledge is produced in sport. As such, this panel explores transitional approaches, which offer multiple paths forward in the transformation of sport to effect positive change in society.


  • Adriano De Francesco
  • Sean Heath (University of Leuven)
  • Gwyneth Talley (American University in Cairo, Department of Sociology, Egyptology and Anthropology)
  • Ben Hildred (Durham University, Department of Anthropology)
  • Courtney Helfrecht (University of Alabama, Department of Anthropology)
  • Robert Tennyson (University ofWashington)

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