Call for Papers: Contemporary Combat Sports and Gender Studies

Call for papers – parallel session at the 7th Meeting of the Transnational Working Group for the Study of Gender and Sport


This parallel session will bring together colleagues with an interest in exploring the gendered landscapes of diverse combat sports worlds. Rather than buttressing orthodox narratives of gender in any simplistic sense, resent research highlights the negotiations and tensions that characterise the often paradoxical gendered framing of participation and involvement in ‘sportized’ combat. This session aims to flesh out such empirical observations while not losing sight of the important place such physical cultural practices have usually occupied in traditional stories of gender binaries. Papers are called for that can contribute theoretically, empirically and/or methodologically to furthering our understanding of combat sports as significant physical cultural spaces where gender is embodied and performed.

For the purposes of this session, we are considering ‘combat sports’ to include principally:

  • Various martial arts and fighting disciplines (competitive/non-competitive, Eastern/Western, armed/unarmed, etc…)
  • Full-contact team sports (American football, rugby, roller derby, etc…)
  • Symbolically combative sports, performance-based combat, and related activities (martial dances, professional wrestling, stage combat, etc…)

For more details on the session please contact either Dr. Christopher Matthews or Dr. Alex Channon.

Abstracts for this session should be submitted to either Dr. Natalie Barker-Ruchti ( or Dr. Karin Grahn ( Abstracts should follow the guidelines set out on the University of Gothenburg website (, and also include a clear statement that the author wishes to have their paper considered for this particular session. 

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