"Strong in Body, Clean in Mind, Lofty in Ideals": Athletic Ability in Early Twentieth-Century US Women's Basketball
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation examines the origins and popularization of women’s basketball in the early twentieth-century United States, from its invention in 1892 through the interwar years. Using interdisciplinary qualitative methods and archival research, it explores how women’s basketball was differentially situated in the realms of physical education, industrial labor, and urban cultural publics. It demonstrates how women’s athletic ability was articulated as socially valuable in each of these settings to argue that women’s basketball became a biopolitical technology triangulated by the politics of racism, sexism, and ableism. It further shows how women’s athletic ability became a site of cultural struggle over the politics of racialized gender and sexuality in the early twentieth century and speculates what we might learn from this history as we encounter new biopolitical technologies in the early twenty-first century.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Gender & Women’s Studies