Azzarito, Laura (la2477)

Laura Azzarito

Professor of Physical Culture and Education

Office Location:

1056 Building 528

Educational Background

  • Louisiana State University, USA. Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology. Josephine A. Roberts LSU Alumni Association Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

  • University of Maryland, College Park, USA. Master of Arts degree in Kinesiology. Alice Love Award for outstanding academic performance

  • Universita’ di Scienze Motorie di Torino. Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with high honors

Scholarly Interests

Dr. Azzarito’s research examines the links among young people’s construction of the body, identity and inequality issues from a pedagogical and sociocultural perspective.  Dr. Azzarito is currently conducting visual research projects with young people in urban school physical activity contexts.  Her related interests include the theorization and application of visual methods; the examination of the ways in which the intersection of gender/sex, race/ethnicity and social class discourses in school physical activity informs young people’s construction of the body; visual pedagogies; and curriculum theory.

Her current projects consider the critical and transformative aspects of using participatory visual research methods with young people in school contexts. She is particularly interested in studying visual methods as a means for exploring young people’s embodied identities, their making sense of the body in their daily lives.  The interdisciplinary nature of her research brings together art education, visual studies, curriculum, physical education and physical culture studies.  Her research is informed by constructivist, feminist post-structuralist and post-colonial theories.

Selected Publications

  • Azzarito, L., & Ennis, C.D. (2003). A sense of connection: Toward social constructivist physical education.  Sport, Education, and Society, 8, 179-198

  • Azzarito, L., Munro P., & Solmon, M.A. (2004). Unsettling the body. The institutionalization of physical activity at the turn of the 20th century. Quest, 4, 377-396

  • Azzarito, L., & Solmon, M.A. (2005). A reconceptualization of physical education: The intersection of race/gender/social class. Sport, Education, and Society, 1, 25-47

  • Azzarito, L. (2007). “Shape up America.” Understanding fatness as a curriculum project. Journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, 3, 1-27

  • Azzarito, L., & Harrison, L., Jr. (2008). “White men can’t jump”. Race, gender, and natural athleticism. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 43, 4, 347-364

  • Azzarito, L., & Katzew, A. (2010). Performing identities in physical education: (En)gendering fluid selves. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 81, 1, 25-37

  • Azzarito, L. (2010). New girls, transcendent femininities, and new pedagogies: Toward girls’ hybrid bodies?  Sport, Education and Society, 15, 261-276

  • Azzarito, L. (2010). Ways of seeing the body in kinesiology: A case for visual methodologies. Quest, 62, 155-170

  • Azzarito, L., & Sterling J. (2010). “What it was in my eyes”: Picturing youths’ embodiment in ‘real’ spaces.  Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, 2, 209-228.  Special Edition on Visual Methods in Physical Culture

  • Azzarito, L. (2011). “I’ve lost my football...”  Rethinking gender(s), the hidden curriculum, and sport in the global context.  In R. Bailey & S. Dagkas (Eds.), Sport for all? Exclusion from and through sport. London: Routledge

  • Azzarito, L. (2012).  Digital photography as a pedagogical tool for investigating young people’s embodiment. Visual Studies. 27, 295-309.

  • Hill, J. & Azzarito, L. (2012).  Researching valued bodies in PE: a visual inquiry with young people. Special Edition, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 3, 263-276.

  • Azzarito, L. (2012). Girls looking for a “second home”: bodies, difference, and places of inclusion in girls’ eyes. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 1-25.

  • Azzarito, L., & Kirk, D. (2013).  Pedagogies, Physical Culture, and visual methods.  London: Routledge.
  • Azzarito, L. Principal Investigator. Economic and Social Research Council, August 2008. Moving in my world: An investigation into young people’s embodiment and its impact on participation in physical activity. Awarded £210,135. (Approximate, $459,025).  Loughborough University

  • Azzarito, L. Principal Investigator. The British Academy, July 2009. Geographies of girls’ bodies: A visual inquiry into minority girls’ physicality in school. Awarded £7,461.06. (Approximate, $12,690).  Loughborough University
Select Conference Presentations
  • Azzarito, L. Using digital photography to shed light on “bodies at risk” in physical culture.  Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, Canada. SIG-Qualitative Research

  • Azzarito, L. & Marttinen, R. A visual inquiry into young people’s expressions of their embodiment.  Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Research Consortium, Boston, MA

  • Azzarito, L.  Gender, the hidden curriculum and physical education through girls’ eyes, March 2011.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Research Consortium, San Diego, CA

  • A “second home”: Ethnic minority girls’ geographies of the body in an urban school, April 2011.  Paper presented to the Research on Learning and Instruction in Physical Education SIG, American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA

Conference Symposia Organiser

  • Visual Methods and Identity Work, May 2012.  International Congress for Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  • Visual methods, Pedagogies & Young People, September 2011. British Educational Research Association Conference, London

Keynote Presentations 

  • Social and cultural dimensions of physical literacies, June 29, 2011. Keynote Lecture for International Conference on Physical Literacies, University of Bedforshire, UK

  • “To Run the Course” in physical education: Browsing the new condition of youth in our global era, February 2007. Invited Keynote Lecture for International Congress of Physical Education, Palma, Spain

Response to Keynote Lecture 

  • Researching young people in physical activity settings, March 2009. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Tampa, FL

Related Articles

Research by TC's Laura Azzarito Highlights Differences in How Young People See Their Own Bodies

Feeling comfortable and confident in sport, health, or PE can be very difficult for some young people who can be seen as a 'risk' of becoming obese. Young people from ethnic minorities, especially girls, are more likely to be physically inactive and unhealthy.

Research by TC's Laura Azzarito Highlights Differences in How Young People See Their Own Bodies

Azzarito, Associate Professor of Physical Education, says schools could use PE time to help students think critically about the messages they receive concerning body, health and physical activity.

Laura Azzarito

Challenging stereotypes about sport, physical activity and fitness

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