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The Power, Politics, and Potential of Feminist Sports History: A Multi-Generational Dialogue


This article considers the role that feminism has played in the development of sport history. More than writing “women’s sport history,” “feminist sport history” critically (re)engages issues of theory, method, and representation in the ways we approach historical scholarship. However, feminism remains a diverse area of thought that includes both political and personal aspects, which creates differences in the perspectives that feminist scholars bring to the field. After an overview of the development and contributions of feminism to sport history, this article reveals some of the diverse feminist perspectives in the field by constructing a dialogue using comments from interviews and literature from three “generations” of feminist sport historians. Exploring differences in feminist approaches helps to reveal the ways that each historian has found feminism to be both challenging and productive. In so doing, this article attempts to begin a new discussion of the potential for feminism to contribute to future developments in sport history.

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