Hard knock life: Negotiating concussion & dementia in sport

We are delighted to announce that Greg Hollin has been awarded a Wellcome Research Fellowship in Humanities in Social Science for a project entitled ‘Hard knock life: Negotiating concussion and dementia in sport.’

Greg’s project is concerned with the increasing anxiety about the risks associated with concussive and sub-concussive head trauma suffered during sporting activities. These fears are related to ‘Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy’ (CTE), a form of dementia caused by blows to the head. A wide number of sports are believed to carry a risk of CTE and, as such, there are increasing concerns about a ‘silent epidemic’ of dementias which has led to calls for technological innovation, rule change, and legislation to ward against the disease.

This project involves fieldwork in three diverse sporting contexts (American football; professional wrestling; age group rugby) in order to understand CTE. The project seeks to understand the co-production of medical knowledge and sporting subjects by considering how practitioners understand themselves, their brains, and their conduct given the possibility of brain injury and how knowledge of the brain, dementia, class, race, and gender shape one another. Findings from the project will contribute to our understanding of CTE as an emerging diagnosis and how it affects athletes and sporting practice.

The three-year project will be mentored by Prof. Anne Kerr, director of the Centre for Health, Technologies and Social Practice, and Dr Karen Throsby, director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, and will contribute to these areas of expertise within the school.

The project will begin in September 2018 and further details will be released in due course. Follow @GregHollin on twitter for updates.


Sunday. The tackle. Young, Old Alberniansby Adam Singeris licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0