Building Bodies: Transnational Historical Approaches to Sport, Gender and Ethnicities

Yearbook of Women’s History 2018


Women are on the move. Traditionally, sport has been a masculine domain, dominated by men and capacities that have culturally been ascribed to men. But this is changing as women’s participation in sport continues to increase throughout the world, their successes are widely celebrated and “fitgirls’ have become part of popular culture.

The 2018 Yearbook of Women’s History shows muscle: its focus is on sport and sporting bodies: their transgressing practices, representations and impacts on femininities, masculinities and ethnicities. Fourteen contributions by different authors elaborate on the processes that have underpinned these enormous and in many ways gendered changes. What was the role of female pioneers and their supporters? How have issues of gender changed sport and vice versa? And, finally, what transnational and intersectional dynamics of sports have played a role in these transformations?


  • MARJET DERKS, Introduction Feminities & Masculinities:
  • OLAF STIEGLITZ, The “Rhythmic Smoothness’ of Crossing a Hurdle. A Transnational and Visual Gender History of Hurdling, 1910s-1930s
  • SAMANTHA JAYNE OLDFIELD/LISA TAYLOR/DAVE DAY, Spreading the Word. British Sportswomen and the International Diffusion of Sport
  • ANOMA VAN DER VEERE, Depicting Female Athletes in Japan During the 2016 Rio Olympics. Individual Success versus Dominant Ideologies
  • HOLLY OBERLE, The Last Male Stronghold? American Exceptionalism, Football, and Women
  • ANASTASIJA ROPA, Gender in Horse Racing. Queens and Mistresses in the Sport of King
  • EVELINE BUCHHEIM/SASKIA BULTMAN, Gender in Dutch Women’s Soccer. Interview with Tessel Middag Bodies:
  • MARJAN GROOT, Picture Essay. Visual Politics of Popular Health, Sports and Bodies in the Design of the American Magazine Physical Culture, 1900-1940
  • JON VERRIET, “Strong as a Bear, Gracious as a Gazelle’. Shaping a New Female Athleticism in Dutch Sports Magazines and Advertisements for Sports Food and Beverages, 1960-1980
  • HELENA TOLVED, Building her Body. Representing and Negotiating Femininity and Muscularity in women’s Bodybuilding from the 1970s Forum:
  • INES BRAUNE, Gender and Parkour in the Arab World Ethnicities:
  • LATOYA DRAKE/PASCAL DELHEYE, Dribbling Out of Bound. The Impact of Migration on the Social and Political Consciousness of Black U.S. American Female Basketball Players
  • PATRICK SALKELD/ZACH BIGALKE, Sport as an Intersectional Locus for Protest
  • SCARLETT L. HESTER, “I Promised the Brazilian People’
  • RONDA ROUSEY, Whiteness, and the UFC as a Neocolonial Enterprise
  • EVELINE BUCHHEIM/MARJAN GROOT, Women and Sport in China. An interview with former professional Dutch table tennis player Bettine Vriesekoop


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