Sports-Related Young Adult Literature: Society, Culture, and Politics
The confluence of sports culture and sociopolitical issues has a long history. Memorable examples of athletes of yesteryear embracing activism include Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists against institutional racism, Muhammad Ali opposing the Vietnam War, and Billie Jean King fighting for gender equity. Contemporary examples include Colin Kaepernick protesting police violence against people of color and the U.S. women’s national soccer team charging U.S. Soccer with gender discrimination. Each example underscores the reality that athletes are so much more than the games they play. Many authors have honored this tradition through the fictional athletes they portray in contemporary sports-related young adult literature (YAL). For instance, in All American Boys (Reynolds & Kiely, 2015), basketball star Quinn Collins is compelled to protest police violence against Black youth. Gridiron hero Kurt Brodsky and gymnast Danny Meehan shine a light on a brutal rape and cover-up in Leverage (Cohen, 2011), and Liam Bergstrom challenges his
basketball coach’s refusal to honor the separation of church and state in Box Out (Coy, 2008). In YAL, as in life, the intersections of sport and society provide rich opportunities for critically examining the world around us. For this special issue, guest edited by Mark Lewis and Luke Rodesiler, we seek critical, theoretical, and empirical research investigating sports-related YAL and its use as a vehicle to advance the critical study of social, cultural, and political issues in sports culture and our greater society.
Manuscripts might address questions like the following: How are specific sociopolitical issues taken up in contemporary works of sports-related YAL? How are teachers using sports-related YAL to engage students in the critical study of sports culture and society? How are teacher educators preparing prospective teachers to incorporate sports-related YAL as a means to discuss such issues as part of an ELA curriculum? What messages do contemporary works of sports-related YAL convey about what counts as sport and/or who youth-athletes are? What is discovered when critically examining the body of work of a popular author of sports-related YAL (e.g., Chris
Crutcher, Bill Konigsberg, Chris Lynch, Walter Dean Myers)?
Send submissions with a title page featuring author contact information, a 100-word abstract, and an originality statement as a Microsoft Word file to YAL.SportsCulture@gmail.com and Cc email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Manuscripts should be approximately 8,000-12,000 words, including tables, figures, and references, and should be written in Times New Roman 12-point font. Manuscripts should be double-spaced with 1” margins and should follow the sixth edition of the APA style guide. All references to the author(s) should be removed from the body of the manuscript in preparation for blind review.
Study and Scrutiny: Research on Young Adult Literature is a peer-reviewed, open access journal. As such it provides immediate access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
The University of Oklahoma is graciously hosting this journal and supporting it in many ways, including distribution.
Cohen, J. C. (2011). Leverage. New York, NY: Dutton Books.
Coy, J. (2008). Box out. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
Reynolds, J., & Kiely, B. (2015). All American boys. New York, NY: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum