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Our Program --> Sports Academic Research Panel

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DayBeginning Time Duration Event
Sun, Mar 28, 2004 3:30 PM
5:30 PM
2 hours Sports Academic Research Panel


Sports Academic Research Panel

Are you an academic research sports, athletics, and society? Or perhaps just interested on this frontier of research and development? This panel will allow the top academics in this space to present their research and have a discussion to further their goals.

"Guards" in the Lookerroom: Sexuality Games and Foucault's Panopticon

Mark Schuster
Dean for Student Services and Sport Psychologist
Rutgers University

Mark has been an administrator and faculty for over twenty-five years in the Northeast and Midwest. Currently a Dean for Student Services at Rutgers College and on faculty in the Psychology Department where he teaches “Public Heroines, Private Shame: Intersectionality of Sport and Sexuality.” Mark has a Masters in Sport Psychology and Cultural Studies of Sport from the University of Iowa and his PhD. coursework is in Higher Education Administration, also from Iowa. He works closely with all five LGBT groups at Rutgers University, including founder of the university-wide Social Justice Committee. Fellow founders of T.H.E. (Teaching Human Equity) Institute in Provincetown just call him a “big ole lesbian.” Taught in seven disciplines, including courses in writing, education, and sexuality studies in Iowa to gender, androgyny and creativity at Parsons School of Design. Speaking of discipline, when he trained NYPD, corporate friends wanted to know what he knew about teaching policemen besides how to use handcuffs. In Boston, in1980, he was one of twelve who founded The Standing Committee on LGBT Awareness of the American College Personnel Association and helped launched its first AIDS Task Force. Mark has been openly gay, professionally, since the late seventies at NYU where, as an administrator, you were gay-until-proven-innocent. Mark worked as an interpreter for the Olympic Committee in 1976 in Montreal and Lake Placid in 1980. Accidentally a bronze medalist in racquetball at NY Gay Games in 1994, taught skiing in Vermont for years at Smuggler’s Notch, and is a jock since gone to seed in track, wrestling, gymnastics, diving, tennis and downhill skiing.

The homoerotic/heterosexy gaze articulates the intersectionality of gender and sexuality in the locker room. This presentation will illustrate how Foucault's panopticon is a metaphor for this very erotic space, contesting the private versus public arenas of sport. The often dual and overlapping roles of the real "guards" and "prisoners" will be explored in terms of sexual surveillance. LGBT athletes will be asked to reflect on their own hegemony in trying "to pass" as heterosexuals, thus contributing to becoming "guards" as well as prisoners in sport. The point of deconstructing the myths and realities of sport as a male preserve and the prisoner/queer as "other" is to eventually reconstruct this space, focusing on the positive aspects of power. Once the invisibility and certain terrors of the true sexual surveillance of both heterosexuals and homosexuals in the lookerroom are exposed, everyone will be free to choose a role as guard, prisoner or simply athlete. Until authentic dialectics problematize these very complicated and sexual spaces, the invisible victims will remain terrorized, assaulted, and silent in what is even sometimes a deadly "game."

Disentangling Sexuality from Masculinity

Eric Anderson
University of California Irvine

Eric Anderson, Ph.D. studies issues of sport, masculinities, and homophobia and is one of the few researchers to study gay male athletes. He has authored several books and research studies, but pertinent to his work with gay athletes is his (2000) autobiography Trailblazing: America's First Openly Gay High School Coach; and his upcoming book In the Game: Sport, Homophobia, and Gay Male Athletes. He writes for mainstream queer publications, speaks at queer events and conferences, and helps organize and educate gay athletes through his website CoachGumby.com. Eric lives with his now (hopefully legally) married partner Grant Tyler Peterson in Southern California but will be moving to either StoneyBrook or NYU in the Fall.

In North American society, being "masculine" is often defined as (1) the opposite of being "feminine" and (2) avoiding sexual contact with other men. Recent trends in attitudes toward homophobia and masculinity, however, suggest that these orientations may be changing in North American culture. Drawing from a two-year ethnographic study of heterosexual male college cheerleaders, I demonstrate the structures and process that enable heterosexual men to disengage from hegemonic masculinity and to move from a disposition of homophobia to acceptance of male homosexuality. I show that associated with these changing attitudes and practices, many men are beginning to disentangle heterosexuality from masculinity. I demonstrate how avowedly straight men, in some instances, engage in gay sex and openly view such encounters as non-threatening to their own personal identities and public status as heterosexuals. In doing so, these men actively contest the limited terrain of traditional gendered and sexual identities, disentangling sexuality from masculinity and nuancing the difference between sexual orientation, behavior and identity. The study carries theoretical implications for the conditions under which heterosexuality and masculinity do not imply each other and, most speculatively, when and how gay men are considered masculine.

As I Am: An Oral History of Gay Male Athletes at Dartmouth College

Brad Rathgeber
Dartmouth College

Brad Rathgeber is a graduate student in Dartmouth College's interdisciplinary liberal studies program. He compiles oral histories that focus on the interplay of sport and society. Brad completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar.

Through narrative, "As I Am: And Oral History of Gay Male Athletes at Dartmouth College" explores the changing sport and cultural attitudes toward gay male athletes at Dartmouth College. Six Dartmouth athletes-- current and past, representing a variety of sports from diving to lacrosse-- share their voices for this oral history. Their stories touch on: coming out to coaches and teammates; reconciling identities of "gay" and "athlete"; competing as out athletes; and other issues relevant to collegiate-sport life, including fraternities.

Stories in this oral history show a dynamic change that is occurring on one college campus. And by sharing their stories and anecdotes, these men hope to add to abilities of future men to venture out of the closet: by adding their voice, they aid the struggling, closeted gay-athletes at Dartmouth and perhaps beyond.

See last year's videos and photos. Read the testimonials from 2003.


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