Call For Abstracts | “Sport Sociology and the Responsibility for Decolonial Praxis: Decolonizing Minds, Indigenizing Hearts” | North American Society of the Sociology of Sport Annual Conference, November 6–9, 2019, Virginia Beach Hilton, Virginia Beach, VA. Call ends June 1, 2019

Decolonizing Settler Colonialism

On  behalf of the 2019 Conference Committee (Jeffrey Montez de Oca, Michelle Richardson, Paul Whitinui, Parissa Safai, Kenneth Sean Chaplin, Algerian Hart, Charles Crowley, Jorge Moraga, Yuka Nakamura, Alexandra Arellano, David Leonard, Chen Chen, Stan Thangaraj, Rebecca Wood, Dan Henhawk, Tricia McGuire-Adams, William Bridel, Molly Cotner, Akilah Carter-Francique), it is my pleasure to distribute this Call for Abstracts, which you can also find on the NASSS website. I am confident that you will agree the organizers have developed creative, thought-provoking, and timely sessions. As the conference organizer, I look forward to an engaging and meaningful conference. I appreciate all the session organizers who offered their time to create sessions. Thank you!

Please review the session descriptions on the NASSS website. Abstract authors are strongly encouraged to submit to one of the Thematic Sessions or an Open Panel with a focused theme to be addressed by a panel of discussants. However, for authors who do not see their paper fitting in with one of the Thematic Sessions or Open Panels, there is also the option to submit to an Open Paper Session that is organized a research topic consistent with the focus of the research you would like to present.

Due to time, space, and scheduling constraints, we ask that authors submit only one abstract as first author. Authors who wish to submit more than one abstract may do so provided they are not the first author on subsequent abstract submission(s). Abstract authors submitting to multiple sessions (and organizers of multiple sessions) should be prepared well in advance of the conference to have a collaborator or colleague present or moderate should there be a scheduling conflict.

In addition, the conference organizer will not be able to accommodate specific requests or preferences regarding time or date of a session or paper.  As such, session organizers, moderators, and presenters/ authors are expected to be available for the duration of the time when conference sessions are scheduled.  Sessions begin in the morning on Thursday, November 6 (typically around 8 am) and end in the afternoon on Saturday, November 9 (typically around 5 pm). There will always be someone who is first, and someone who is last. Your understanding regarding the tremendous work that is involved in organizing the conference is much appreciated by the conference organizer and committee! All considerations will be made to schedule sessions in accordance with the topics of each session, so sessions do not compete with each other for those with similar academic interests. However, due to limited time and space, this sometimes may occur.

The Theme

Sport in western nation-states has been central to the interlinked projects of imperialism and capitalism. In this sense, sport is part of a spatial and material project of economic development built upon stolen lands, with stolen labor. Similarly, the academy is a key institution in the production of imperialist and capitalist knowledge and expertise.

The North American Society for the Sociology of Sport sits at the intersection of these imperialist roots. We are an academic institution built on occupied land and funded by the wealth of empire; Virginia Beach can host our meeting because the Powhattan Confederacy was dispossessed of their traditional lands and Virginia was a slave state. At the same time, NASSS members primarily work within the critical tradition; focusing on the multiple ways in which power and oppression work through and within sport. What then does it mean for us to engage in critical scholarship while benefiting from the ongoing occupation of Indigenous lands and build careers within an elitist academy funded by wealth accrued from slave and other forms of exploited labor? How do we engage with a more self-critical scholarship that moves beyond manufacturing hopes for justice from ivory towers?

The theme “decolonizing sport sociology” focuses on the multiple contradictions we – individually and institutionally – confront in our research, teaching, and service. The contradictions mean that we all have a responsibility to challenge settler colonialism. The question is how do we continue to transform ourselves, institutions, and world? This isn’t simply a self-reflective exercise. To challenge the ongoing realities of settler colonialism, decolonization starts by becoming critically aware of institutional whiteness, heteropatriarchy, manifestations of racisms and how they work to maintain settler colonialism. This centers Indigenous Peoples’ interests, theory, methodology, pleasures, and desires, and rights since settler colonialism obscures them. We can then address the global processes that work to oppress and marginalize different peoples across and within empires. We hope this theme sparks a process of decolonizing minds, indigenizing hearts.


Deadline for submission of abstracts to session organizers is June 1, 2019. Session organizers will notify authors of abstract acceptance by June 15, 2019. Session organizers will submit completed sessions (3–4 papers each) to the conference organizer, Jeffrey Montez de Oca at, by July 1, 2019.


Abstracts should include the name, institutional affiliation, and email address of the author/s; a title (no more than 10 words); and a brief abstract (200 words maximum) that describes the presentation and ideally how the session fits into the conference theme. Please submit abstracts to the appropriate session organizer via the online submission system (do not send abstracts directly to session organizers via email).  Here is a list of session descriptions.  To submit your abstract please do so via the online system.

Virginia Beach +1

In partnership with the Diversity and Conference Climate Committee Chair, Dr. J. Michelle Richardson, the 2019 Conference Committee is pleased to announce the continuation of the +1 program in Virginia Beach. The goal of this initiative is to expand the audience for the NASSS conference and to our community of scholars to those who have never attended the NASSS conference or who have not attended for some time. Members are encouraged to contact or bring a +1; this can be a colleague, student, peer, or friend who has never attended a NASSS conference.  Invite your +1 to participate/ submit/present at the conference. As you are considering submitting an abstract, we encourage you to distribute the announcements and Call for Abstracts to your networks, and send an invitation to submit an abstract to your +1.

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