In The Athletic Turn, Jennifer Doyle will explore how sports and contemporary art interact. Existent scholarship about the artist’s turn to athleticism has focused on what sports culture brings to art, explored the way that engagements with sports culture expand art’s audiences, or highlighted the aesthetic components of athletic performance. Where much scholarship emphasizes the differences between art and sports, Doyle will consider the affinities between these two modes of cultural expression as social practices and practices of the self. Her book aims to expand our sense of the sports world to consider how artists like Juergen Teller, Miguel Calderon, Charles Fairbanks, Jennifer Locke, Saatch Hoyt, Heather Cassils, Tracey Rose, and Zanele Muholi engage sports in experimental cinema, sculpture and installation work, contemporary photography, and performance art. The Athletic Turn is an experiment in arts writing and, equally, an experiment in sports writing.
Jennifer Doyle is the author of Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art (Duke University Press, 2013) and Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire (Minnesota, 2006; finalist for a Lambda Award for writing in art and culture). She writes about contemporary art, performance, gender, and sexuality, and is a professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. She is currently a directing member of Human Resources, an independent performance space. Since 2007, she has maintained a soccer blog and now provides commentary on the cultural politics of sports for a range of outlets, including a local radio station (KPFK) and news outlets such as the New York Times, the Guardian and Fox Soccer. She has also written commentary about the policing of dissent at the University of California for the Nation’s education blog. She is the founding director of Queer Lab, supporting research in gender and sexuality studies at UC Riverside.