Professor Jennifer Doyle

Visiting Fellow - TrAIN/CCW Fulbright Distinguished Chair 2013


Professor Jennifer Doyle
Fulbright – University of the Arts London Distinguished Chair 2013-14

Jennifer Doyle is Professor of English at the University of California. During her time with the Transnational Centre for Research on Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN) in the CCW Graduate School Professor Jennifer Doyle will be developing the project The Athletic Turn: Contemporary Art and the Sport Spectacle.
The Athletic Turn
Contemporary artists offer an important alternative to mass sports media: Artists have produced some of the most stringent available critiques of the mass sport spectacle. They have also investigated the social value of quieter, less visible aspects of sports culture. Nevertheless, art and sport are traditionally assumed to be antagonists. Curators and art historians recount the history of representations of the athlete, for example, or explore the way that engagements with sports culture expand art’s audiences but tend to position the artist as an outsider to the sports world.
Artists, however, are already a part of sports culture – as athletes, fans, league organizers and critics. Where previously a handful of scholars have worked to highlight the aesthetic components of athletic performance – importing the language of art history to declare that there is art within sport – I will spend my time as a Fulbright scholar expanding our sense of the sports world to include experimental cinema, sculpture and installation work, contemporary photography and performance art. In other words, I treat artworks as dynamic engagements with and critical readings of sports culture, and argue that this kind of artwork should be understood as indeed a part of “the sports world.”
So much of international sports culture appears to us as a celebration of nationalisms. The artists with whom I work show us that globalization registers within sports cultures complexly. The artists who anchor this book are engaged with sports communities on the margins of national and global sports economies. Their work helps us to see what those global systems attempt to capture, and also what eludes their grasp. The Athletic Turn centers on contemporary art developed at the margins of mainstream sports culture, work that is harder to assimilate to commercial enterprise not because the work is experimental or avant-garde but because (like many fans) the work is intensely wary of sports organizations and is often explicit in its critique of them. The intellectual context of the Transnational Centre for Research on Art, Identity and Nation will provide the perfect home for developing this project.

Jennifer Doyle is blogging about her research subject at The Sport Spectacle

Related Events

Related People

  • Heathcottphoto_1__thumb

    Professor Joseph Heathcott

    Visiting Fellow - Tate/TrAIN Fulbright Distinguished Chair

    I study the American metropolis and its diverse cultures, institutions, and environments within a comparative and global perspective. My main interest is in the public role of scholarship and teaching, and the civic engagement of students and teachers in the world around them.
    Find out more about Professor Joseph Heathcott

  • Brooksethel360x240_thumb

    Ethel Brooks

    Visiting Fellow - Tate/Train Visiting Fellow - Fullbright Visiting Distinguished Chair

    Ethel Brooks is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology at Rutgers University. She is currently the 2011-2012 US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of the Arts London.
    Find out more about Ethel Brooks