Sneaker Studies

deadline for submissions: 
April 5, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

Sneaker Studies: A Call for Papers

Sneakers have constituted one of the most significant cultural phenomena in recent history, and yet they have not garnered sustained attention by scholars of humanities and cultural studies. This project, an online sneaker archive will consider how specific shoes have become icons of their historical eras. Consider the Chuck Taylor in relation to the punk era, or the Air Jordan as emblem of black cool alongside post-racial branding, the subsequent creation of a global resellers market, and now the current Age of Yeezy. We are currently interested not in full academic articles but persons willing to complete short research analysis on the life history and career of specific shoe designs. 

Topics of Interest Include:


What do the various colorways present in the Nike Dunk series tell us about how sneaker design is influenced by color psychology?


Chuck Taylors, the end of their presence in the NBA, the beginnings of sneaker culture, and Chucks finding their place among countercultural scenes like punk, grunge, and West Coast hip-hop.


Timberland and the cultural influence of 90s Hip-Hop coming out of NY on fashion outside of NYC.


Compare and contrast the role of Vans to skateboard culture and the role of Chucks to punk music and culture.


A close review of sustainability and the materials used in the Nike Considered.

How did the industry and consumers respond to the Nike Considered? Are they encouraged to do it again?


Compare and contrast the marketing campaigns of Grant Hill's Fila and the Allen Iverson Question in 1996 right in the midst of a post-Jordan era.  What was Iverson’s marketability as a hip-hop icon and defiant anti-hero?


Gender, marketing, and marketability would women rather wear Jordans or Swoopes?


Crocs as both tik tok phenomenon and their essential presence in a back to school uniform. 


“But Republicans wear Nikes too” Jordan’s as apolitical pitchman of an initially all black and red shoe, the AJ1.


The Air Max and the advancement of shoe tech. Inspired by the inside-out design of the Centre Pompidou in Paris