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

Call for Session Proposals

Roller derby’s Team Indigenous seeks to empower women and two-spirit people while addressing Native issues and desegregating a predominantly White sport.

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.

We encourage submissions to this year’s conference that troubles and discomforts both our institutions and ourselves. Sessions and presentation should strive to challenge dominant theoretical and methodological frameworks in sports sociology.

Sessions may want to address the following questions:

    • How can individuals and organizations use sport in decolonial ways that is informed by Indigenous knowledge and methodologies?
    • What does anti-oppression and decolonial praxis mean for sport studies & scholarship?
    • What desires and pleasures of sport assure Indigenous Peoples’ identities?
    • How do educators in the classroom engage economic policies, norms, and traditions of academia that block decolonial praxis and obscure the colonization of Indigenous lands?
    • How can racialized, displaced, and other minoritized settlers engage in scholarship that challenges the settler colonial project, which requires critical interrogation of their own belongings to dispossessed Indigenous lands?
    • How can sport scholars move anti-oppressive and anti-racist scholarship in new directions?
    • Can the human desire for self-expression, community, and pleasure exists within the aggressive profit orientation of professionalized elite sports?
    • How can anti-oppressive and decolonizing praxis work to expand scholarship on racial justice, religious intolerance, xenophobia, disability studies, intersectional feminist and queer analysis?
    • How can taking up Indigenous-led scholarship and community processes of decolonization inform global sport scholarship and analyze global processes?
    • How can Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples draw upon the key Indigenous (human) values of respect, relationality, and reciprocity to build a space where understanding and knowledge is shared and respected more equitably?

Session Formats

Proposed session topics are due April 1, 2019. Please note the following different format options:

    • Paper presentation sessions (3 – 5 papers per session). These sessions will be open to submissions of well-developed research during the call for paper abstracts.
    • Completed paper presentation sessions, whereby the entire session is pre-constituted (4 – 5 already selected papers fitting with the session topic). For these sessions, include the name, institutional affiliation, and title of each presenter along with the session abstract. The individual paper abstracts for these sessions will be due at the same time as other abstracts. These sessions can also include a commentator, who should be listed in the session proposal.
    • Panel sessions, with a focused theme to be addressed by a panel of discussants. Session organizers should include the names and institutional affiliations of panel members along with the session abstract.
    • Roundtable sessions, which can include less developed, preliminary or exploratory research. These sessions can include 4 – 5 presenters for 5-minute introductions of research, followed by discussion among those presenting and conference attendees who join the roundtable. These sessions can be open for abstract submissions or can be pre-constituted. Pre-constituted sessions should include the names and institutional affiliations of all presenters. Abstracts for pre-constituted sessions will be due at the same time as all other abstracts.
    • Author-Meets-Critic sessions, author(s) discuss their recently published monograph in the sport sociology literature with a panel of 3-4 critics. These sessions< can be moderated. The proposer will be responsible for getting copies of the book to the critics with enough time for them to read and develop a response to the book.
    • Student Poster Presentation session. These sessions will be open to undergraduate student’s and graduate (e.g., masters, doctoral) student’s submissions of well-developed research presented in poster format during the call for paper abstracts.

All session proposals must include the name, institutional affiliation, and email address of the session organizer; a title (10 words maximum); and a brief abstract (150 words maximum) that describes the session and ideally how the session fits into the conference theme. Indicate which type of session you are submitting for consideration. For pre-constituted sessions, include the names, titles and institutional affiliations of the presenters in the session.

Submission Process

Submit session proposals online at: by April 1, 2019.


Direct any questions to the Conference Committee Chair, Jeffrey Montez de Oca at<>


Session organizers will be notified of the acceptance of their proposed session on or before April 1, 2019. The Call for Abstracts will be released on April 1, 2019. Deadline for submission of individual Paper Abstracts is June 1, 2019. Session organizers will notify authors of abstract acceptance and submit their completed sessions (4-5 papers/presentations) no later than June 15, 2019. Final completed session submission is due July 1, 2019.

Virginia Beach +1 Initiative

In partnership with the Diversity and Conference Climate Committee Chair, Dr. J. Michelle Richardson, the 2019 Conference Committee is pleased to continue the “+1” initiative. The goal of this initiative is to expand the audience for the NASSS conference to include those who have never attended the NASSS conference or who have not attended for some time. NASSS members are encouraged to invite a +1; this can be a colleague, student, peer, or friend who has never been to NASSS and to invite them to register and participate in the conference. As you are considering organizing a session and/or submitting an abstract, we encourage you to bring to your +1 to Virginia Beach!

We especially encourage bringing undergraduate students to get ambitious students engaged with NASSS early.

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