Fitness, Exercise and Physical Culture

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Call for papers: 

Call for Papers: Fitness, Exercise, and Physical Culture

The fitness, exercise, and physical culture area welcomes papers, presentations, and panels involving scholarly inquiry on physical fitness and popular culture. Fitness is variously defined as a pursuit and a product (e.g. a person can engage in fitness activities to achieve a level of physical fitness.) A minimum level of fitness is considered a health necessity. Yet the spectrum of fitness embraces wellness, successful negotiation of activities of daily living and athletic prowess. While fitness is part of culture, there is an “anti-fitness” presence also…particularly in popular culture.

This interdisciplinary area explores exercise and fitness in media, film, literature, advertising, television, comic books, magazines, the internet, and social media. Critical inquiry, archival and historical research, visual analysis, and ethnographic research, expressions of fitness in narrative, poetry, and creative writing are welcome.

Submissions are accepted through this site. Please submit a 250-word abstract along with a 75-100 word biographical statement. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Fitness and Wellness

Exercise Trends of Fitness Crazes

Depictions of fit (or unfit) bodies

Objectification of Athletes & Athletic Prowess

Exploration of Physical Un-ability

Cultural Interpretations

Influences of Technology

Gender Perceptions and Pursuits

Fitness as a Societal Expectation

Physical Self-Perception

Consumerism and Commodification

Gym, Health Clubs, or Spa Culture

Role and Impact of Politics

Any Other Related Topics

Here are some pertinent dates you need to know in order to get your submission prepared in time:

August 1, 2019                   Submission Page Goes Live

October 1, 2019                 Early Bird Registration Opens

November 1, 2019             Deadline for Paper Proposals and Endowment Grants

December 1, 2019              Early Bird Registration ENDS

January 1, 2020                  Regular Registration ENDS

January 2, 2020                  Late Registration BEGINS

January 15, 2020                Brigman and Jones Awards Deadline

January 20, 2020                Preliminary Schedule Available

February 1, 2020                End of Registration for Presenters (unregistered presenters dropped from the program)

February 2, 2020                REGISTRATION SYSTEM CLOSES FOR PRESENTERS at Midnight


Refunds requests must be submitted in writing. Full or partial refunds are processed as follows:


By January 1st – 100% refund

By January 15th – 75% refund

By January 25th – 50% refund

By February 1st – 25% refund

*After February 1st – No refund*


I look forward to hearing from you and I hope to see you in Philadelphia!


Tony Kemerly, PhD





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