Candidates for Member at Large (Canada)

Member At Large (Canada)

 1) Lisa McDermott is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.

Vision for NASSS: My vision for NASSS is to continue building on the positive changes introduced into our organization by previous Boards (e.g., greater transparency in governance, organizational efficiencies, updating policies to reflect NASSS’ evolving character, improving online resources, commitment to diversity, inclusion & environmental sustainability, & mentoring graduate students). I would also like to see NASSS address creatively some of the inter-related pressing issues facing it such as financial stability, by both broadening NASSS’ appeal to scholars outside of North America & increasing its overall professional level membership through more targeted online promotional efforts (e.g., Conference Alerts,, greater & applicable use of social media such as Twitter, etc.), and relatedly, being open to the array of social science & humanities scholars interested in social & cultural analyses of physical activity, exercise, health & sport, but who may not specifically identify as “sport sociologists.”

Qualifications for Office: My involvement with NASSS has primarily been through the roles of conference presenter, as well as organizer and chair of sessions. As someone who hasn’t been significantly involved in the operational work of NASSS but who is seeking to take on a greater role on this front, I hope to bring to it a fresh perspective, yet one that simultaneously looks forward to being both exposed to the ideas & opinions of the other Board members, as well as learning from their combined wealth of knowledge in order to forward collectively the values & goals of NASSS. Relevant administrative skills that I bring to this position include being on the organizing committee of the International Association of PE & Sport for Girls & Women 2005 Conference (Edmonton, AB) & the Faculty of PE & Recreation (University of Alberta) Chair of the Nominations Committee.

Summary of Publications: My research interests are two-fold: feminist post-structuralist examinations of the intersections amongst physical activity, exercise and health in relation to women and children, & sport in Canadian popular culture. My work has been published in both historical and physical cultural studies edited collections as well as scholarly journals including Sociology of Sport Journal, Leisure Studies, Journal of Canadian Studies, and Sport, Education & Society. My current work focuses on conceiving an online news discussion regarding Canadian children’s physical activity habits as a public sphere example allowing for the examination of the various discourses circulating among Canadian online news posters. Finally, I’ve also been the grateful recipient of two NASSS Awards: The Barbara A. Brown Outstanding Student Paper and the Outstanding SSJ Article.

 2) Robert James Lake: Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Vision for NASSS: If I am chosen as the Member at Large (Canada) my vision for NASSS would be to continue on with the excellent work of my academic/NASSS colleagues over recent years. This has involved creating a dynamic and accessible scholarly environment, where debate and interactions from all levels or ranks of academia is encouraged, to assist us in becoming betters researchers, students and teachers, and to make our discipline more relevant to outside associations and the general public. I believe in embracing interdisciplinarity within our discipline (between other branches of sociology and between other sport-related social science disciplines, like history, politics, etc.), and fostering inclusion within NASSS and at NASSS conferences and workshops. I believe the NASSS board have made some excellent progress in these areas over the last few years, particularly at its annual conferences where arrangements like ‘Take a student to lunch’ have been very well received. As a relatively new member to NASSS, joining in 2011 when I was residing in the UK, I consider myself a direct recipient of NASSS’s efforts to extend its family outside of North America. Now residing in Canada, I feel I am well-placed to contribute, particularly given NASSS’s objective to nurture international collaborations and connections.

Relevant Qualifications and Publications: I consider myself both a historical sociologist and a social historian. To date, my work has chiefly concerned the sport of tennis, where I have aimed to bridge the gap between history and sociology, making history relevant and giving historical context to contemporary issues. My work has been published in some of the leading sport sociology and sport history journals, including the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, the International Journal of the History of Sport, Sport in History, and the International Journal of Sport and Society. My work in tennis has allowed me to investigate issues of class, gender, sexuality, race, national identity, politics, commercialism, coaching and talent development. My forthcoming book ‘A Social History of Tennis in Britain’ (Routledge 2014) aims to offer a comprehensive and critical account of tennis in a British context, dealing with all of these connected themes/areas. Suffice to say, I am an advocate for interdisciplinary work in the social sciences of sport. I am currently a member of four academic associations in sport sociology and sport history and have served on the executive committee for one of these in recent years; I was elected Treasurer for the British Society for Sport History in 2008 and served until the end of 2011 when I departed the UK for Canada. Given the opportunity to serve as Member at Large (Canadian) would provide me with an opportunity to chair two different NASSS committees over the next two years (either Barbara Brown Student Paper Award, the SSJ Article Award or the Book Award), all of which offer exciting opportunities and sit well with my academic and professional expertise. I would very much welcome the opportunity to get involved in NASSS in this capacity, and believe my international experience and wide-ranging academic background will bring something new to the executive board, and build on its already excellent work to date.