Sneaker Studies: Call for Papers

deadline for submissions: 
December 21, 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. This is a second call for papers this time with a more focused question.  We are interested in studies of specific athletes as pitchmen and their changing relationship with signature shoes or shoe lines. 

My name is Dr. Kwame Forbes and I work with a startup entitled TechPack that is creating a wikipedia for individual sneakers and a print academic journal on sneaker culture.  Currently our plans are to publish a print journal twice a year.  I want to convey to academics that this publishing opportunity is not merely a chance at publication but also a chance to consult with sneaker designers and others who have direct experience working with Nike, Adidas, and or with athletes.  This is a rather unique opportunity as the sneaker industry tends to be a rather closed one.  

Note: Kindly send your abstract in not more than 250 words, along with a short Author’s Bio (within 150 words) to the following Email Address-

Please send abstracts by December 21, 2022 and we will be looking for completed articles by late February 2023.

Editor Kwame Forbes

Topics of Interest Include but are not limited to:

Compare and contrast the branding of Michael Jordan and Kanye West.  How might race(urban coolness/black athleticism) and perhaps cultivated race-lessness play a role in the marketability and appeal of Jordan and Yeezy?                        

Discuss the legacy of Kobe Bryant by reviewing his evolution within the NBA to the release of various Kobe Nikes.

Walt Frazier, the Puma Clyde, and the immediate celebration of the post-Civil Rights era with black success and style. 

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?

A focused study of Michael Jordan and his varying incarnations and shoes from the 1980s up until now.

Reebok as a Nike counter canon or history with its own roster of athletes and signature shoes: Shawn Kemp, Shaquille O’Neal, Dominique Wilkins, and Allen Iverson.

A study of the labor conditions at Nike plants in Asia

Specific marketing campaigns for sneakers and televised commercials