Sport Literature: Body, Society, Self

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This Research & Knowledge Exchange Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: Sport Literature: Body, Society, Self.

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.

Project brief details

Despite sometimes going underacknowledged critically, sport was a central subject of twentieth-century literature. Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Marianne Moore, Richard Ford, Nick Hornby, David Foster Wallace, and others feature sport prominently in their bibliographies. This continues to the present day with Emily Nemens’ The Cactus League being named one of the best books of 2020 and new sport literature focused journals (or special editions) launching nearly every year (Hobart, Clinch, The Twin Bill, W&S, etc).  There is also a steady stream of non-fiction, including memoirs like Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Katie Arnold’s Running Home, or Angie Abdou’s Home Ice; cultural analyses like Thomas Page McBee’s Amateur; and critical writing, like Abdou’s Writing the Body in Motion. Sport continues to be a core subject in contemporary literature, with writers using it to explore issues such as class, gender, race, identity, mental health, and physical health, among others.  

This proposed PhD will expand the current scholarship on these topics and can either be critical or creative practice based, though the latter is preferred.

Strategic alignment

Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy and the following department.

Department School of Communication

All successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and our Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy. 

Project brief lead

adrian markle
adrian markle

Project supervisor: Dr Adrian Markle

Adrian joined Falmouth in 2019. Originally from Canada, he moved to the UK in 2011 for the MA at Baths Spa. He has since completed a PhD at the University of Exeter, where he also taught, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge. His practice-based and critical research interests include class and gender in contemporary long- and short-form literature, especially literature involving sport, particularly boxing. 

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How to apply

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We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief. ​To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process click the button below.

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Project brief & project proposal enquiries

To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr Adrian Markle.


Application enquiries

For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.


T01326 255831

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