Seed Grant Awardee: Devoney Looser
Roller Derby: Past, Present, Future
Devoney Looser (video)
From its American-as-apple-pie birth as an endurance skating competition in the 1930s, to its professional-wrestling-like heyday in the 1970s, roller derby was embraced in twentieth-century pop culture for combining brutality and beauty, especially in its women skaters. Then it went dormant. Reborn in 2001 as a DIY, female-centered, rules-bound competition—and billed as the world’s fastest growing sport—derby is once again the stuff of film, reality television, and comic books. This book-length project sets out to chart and investigate the renegade sport’s athletes, cultural impact, importance, and history, especially in a moment when it is at the vanguard of debates over gender, sexuality, feminism, economics, and organizational innovation in emerging athletics.
Last updated March 2020.