What can trans studies offer to critical sports studies of gender and sex, and vice versa? What can trans sports studies accomplish that neither field can accomplish on its own? Modern sport has long been a site that regulates gender normativity and polices deviance while pretending that it does none of these things at all. Governing bodies in sports obfuscate responsibility for policing practices by declaring that these practices ensure fair play and eliminate unfair advantages between competitors. Shoring up these claims of fair play are appeals to stable, immutable criteria for sex, instantiated through femininity certificates in the early twentieth century, institutionalized sex testing of women athletes in elite sports, to most recently a capped threshold of testosterone for female eligibility in elite women’s sports.
Also in this assemblage are gender-critical feminists who seek to influence school athletic policies from youth to the elite level, calling for sex assigned at birth rather than gender identity to determine participation. Trans girls and women are the focus of these discourses while trans boys and men are seemingly inconsequential. Trans exclusionary policies tug at feminist theory’s unfinished work of claiming that sex is a social construction. Like bathrooms and military service, sports are increasingly a terrain upon which conservative voices insist on the naturalness of sex segregation.
Although sex and gender are central topics in feminist and queer sports studies, sport and physical recreation are still relatively underexamined in the field of transgender studies. Queer and trans studies of sport participation have often been the “special issue” in sports studies journals. Our conception of “The Sports Issue” of TSQ turns the intellectual tables to examine sports from critical trans perspectives. Given modern sport’s emergent and ongoing role in bringing capitalist, white supremacist, colonial and heteropatriarchal social forces into an assemblage of play, critical trans scholarship is particularly well-positioned to unpack its social, political, economic, and cultural manifestations and implications. We invite sports studies scholars and trans studies scholars alike to theorize and examine trans phenomena in competitive athletics, physical culture, and any other sports-related activities.
Contributions might address but are not limited to:
- Trans exclusionary feminist discourse in sport
- Transfeminist science and technology studies of sports
- Gender labor, athletic labor
- Disability and trans embodiment in sports
- Scientific racism within trans and intersex medical models applied in sports
- Radical alternatives to gender normativity in sports
- Relationship between trans and intersex in sports
- Moving beyond human rights rhetoric when it comes to trans athletes
- Sports as a mode of resistance and survival
Travers, Simon Fraser University, is a trans scholar who has published extensively on trans issues and sport; indeed, they provided the keyword entry for “sport” in the inaugural issue of TSQ. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CJ Jones is a PRODiG Postdoctoral Fellow at Purchase College, SUNY and is working on a book project tentatively titled Governing Bodies: Trans Politics, Embodiment, and Critique in Sports. Email: email@example.com
We welcome submissions from 1000 to 5000 words in length that engage a wide range of methods, disciplines, lineages, and practices. The deadline for submissions is April 29, 2022. All manuscripts should be prepared for anonymous peer review with scholarly citations in Chicago author-date citation style. Any questions should be addressed by e-mail to the guest editors for the issue: Travers (firstname.lastname@example.org) and CJ Jones (email@example.com). We plan to respond to submissions in June and July 2022. Final revisions will be due by August 26, 2022. TSQ accepts submissions without regard to academic affiliation or rank; artists, activists, and graduate students are also welcome to submit materials for consideration.
To submit a manuscript, please visit http://www.editorialmanager.com/tsq. Please note that TSQ does not accept simultaneous submissions. Manuscripts proposed for this issue cannot be submitted elsewhere until editorial decisions are sent out. If this is your first time using Editorial Manager, please register first, then proceed with submitting your manuscript. You may address any technical or formatting queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. All manuscripts should be double-spaced, including quotations and endnotes, and anonymized throughout. Please include an abstract (150 words or less), keywords (3-5 for indexing), and a brief author’s biographical note (50 words or less) at the time of initial submission. See http://www.dukeupress.edu/Assets/Downloads/TSQ_sg.pdf for a detailed style guide.