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Leslie Heywood


Leslie Heywood

E-mail:  leslie.heywood@gmail.com

Statement of Interests

I’m a member of the EvoS executive committee, and a Professor of English & Creative Writing at Binghamton University.  As a lifelong athlete with an interest in genetics and physiology, science has long been a part of my research interests despite my humanitistic training. EvoS has provided a unique space where I could come in with a non-science background, learn the science, and begin to combine it with my areas of specialization.  I am interested in intersections between the sciences and the humanities, particularly the development of research perspectives that combine theoretical insights related to representation and social construction with scientific approaches such as cultural evolution, especially that developed by David Sloan Wilson, Joseph Henrich, Peter Richerson and Robert Boyd.  David Sloan Wilson and I are working on grants to develop an integrated science/humanties curriculum, as featured in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/27/science/27angi.html .

Evolutionary research on ingroup/outgroup dynamics in relation to sport, fashion, and other cultural manifestations is a particular interest, as is empirical research on creativity.  In conjunction with Dr. Koji Lum, a molecular geneticist in the Anthropology Department at Binghamton University, and Justin R. Garcia, I am  working on two scientific research studies:  “The Behavioral Neurogenetics of Creativity,” which has been cleared by the IRB and for which we will begin data collection in Fall 2009; and a project based on both Professor Lum’s and my own athletic backgrounds, that will seek to develop a test for aggression and impulsivity that can be correlated to success in particular sports.  While there currently exists physiologically based tests that measure proportions of slow and fast twitch fibers and cardiovascular capacities that correlate with particular sports, the temperament dimension has been thus far unexplored.  We are developing a project that expands on Professor Lum’s work with DRD4 and its links to temperamental features, and exploring how this might be applied to evaluative genetic tests for racehorses, and eventually, human athletes.

I’m also working on a book, High Wolf Content, that combines creative non-fiction narrative about living with a wolf with empirical research about human responses to wolves and historical analysis of the human/wolf relationship, including theories of human/wolf co-evolution.


“Affective Infrastructures:  Toward a Cultural Neuropsychology of Sport,” in Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience, http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/Abstract.aspx?s=411&name=evolutionary_neuroscience&ART_DOI=10.3389/fnevo.2011.00004.

“Hunger, Emotions, and Sport:  A Biocultural Approach,” in Symploke:  A Journal for the Intermingling of Theoretical, Cultural, and Literary Scholarship, Vol. 19, No.1-2 (2011), 119-142.

“Affective Forms:  Neuroscience, Gender, and Sport,” in The Routledge Handbook of Sport, Gender, and Sexuality, eds. Jennifer Hargreaves and Eric Anderson, forthcoming Routledge, 2013.

“Economies of Surf:  Evolution, Territorialism, and the Erosion of Localism.” In David Andrews and Michael Silk, eds. Neoliberalism and Sport. Forthcoming Temple University Press, 2012.

“Mirrors, In-Groups, and Cognitive Play:  An Evolutionary Take on Fashion,” in Feminism, Fashion, and Flair: Confronting Hegemony With Style (SUNY Press, 2012), eds. Shira Tirrant and Marjorie Jolles. With Justin R. Garcia.

“Biocultural Perspectives on Gender,” in Evolution’s Empress: Darwinian Perspectives on Evolution and Gender.  Maryanne M. Fisher and Justin R. Garcia, eds, Oxford University Press, 2012.

“Walking the Walk to Teach the Talk:  Implementing Ancestral Lifestyle Strategies as the Newest Tool in Evolutionary Studies,” in Evolution: Education and Outreach ISSN 1936-6426, Volume 4, Number 1 (2011) pp. 41-51. Co-authored with Steven M. Platek & Glenn Geher & Hamilton Stapell & J. Ryan Porter & Tia Y. Walters (responsible for one-third of the writing).

“Ins and Outs:  An Evolutionary Approach to Fashion.” The Evolutionary Review Vol. 1 (Issue 1), 2010, pp. 30-35. With Justin R. Garcia (responsible for all the writing).

“Mind the Gap:  Appropriate Evolutionary Perspectives Toward the Integration of the Sciences and Humanities.” Science and Education 2009. DOI 10.1007/s11191-009-9193-7. With Justin R. Garcia and David Sloan Wilson.  Print version, Science & Education, 19 (2010): 505-522.

“Economies of Surf:  Evolution, Territorialism, and the Erosion of Localism”. In David Andrews and Michael Silk, eds. Neoliberalism and Sport. Forthcoming Temple University Press.

“Fashion as Adaptation:  The Case of American Idol,” which is forthcoming as a book chapter in Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style  (SUNY Press, 2010). With Justin R. Garcia.


Evos:  the Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium

Journal of Sport and Social Issues

The Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport


2002-      Professor, Department of English, Binghamton University

2003-4,’07-8  Director of Graduate Studies, English, Binghamton University

1999-01 Associate Professor, Department of English, Binghamton University

1993-99 Assistant Professor, Department of English, Binghamton University

1993       Ph.D. in English with a Critical Theory Emphasis, University of California,

Irvine.  Advisor:  J. Hillis Miller, UCI Distinguished Research Professor of

English and Comparative Literature

1989                 M.A. in English, University of California, Irvine

1988                 M.F.A. in Creative Writing, University of Arizona

1986                 B.A. in Creative Writing, University of Arizona (honors, Phi Beta Kappa)


2008       Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research & Creative Activities

2006-7    Proposal Review Chair, National Women’s Studies Association

2006        Dean’s Visiting Professor, University of Kentucky

2006        Visiting Artist, California State University Summer Arts

2003-4     Visiting Scholar, Rutgers Institute for Research on Women

2001-5     Trustee, Women’s Sports Foundation

1997        Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching



Natural Selection:  Poems (Louisiana Literature Press, 2008).


The Proving Grounds:  Poems (Red Hen Press, 2005).

The Women’s Movement Today: An Encyclopedia of Third-Wave Feminism. (Greenwood Reference Works, 2005).   As the General Editor of the first major reference work on third wave feminism, I was responsible for all stages of production from conceptualization to organization to writing critical introductions to proofreading.  This 1,000-page work includes a companion volume, The Primary Documents of Third Wave Feminism.

Built To Win: The Rise of the Female Athlete as Cultural Icon (University of Minnesota Press, 2003).  Honorable Mention North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Book Award, 2004.

Pretty Good for a Girl (paperback edition, University of Minnesota Press, 2000).  Named a “Breakthrough Book” by Lingua Franca.


Pretty Good for a Girl:  A Memoir (hardback, The Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 1998).

Bodymakers:  A Cultural Anatomy of Women’s Bodybuilding (Rutgers University Press, 1998).

Third Wave Agenda:  Being Feminist, Doing Feminism (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 1997).  Co-edited with Jennifer Drake. ). Named a “Notable New Anthology” by The Nation, and a “Recommended Book” by the New York Review of Books Reader’s Catalog.

Dedication to Hunger:  The Anorexic Aesthetic in Modern Culture (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1996).


“Ambassadors of the Last Wilderness: Surfers, Environmental Ethics, and Activism in America,” in Tribal Play:  Subcultural Journeys Through Sport, eds. Kevin Young and Michael Atkinson. Research in the Sociology of Sport, Volume 4, 153-172.  (Emerald Publishing Group, 2008).

“Third Wave Feminism, The Global Economy, and Women’s Surfing: Sport as Stealth Feminism in Girls’ Surf Culture, in Next Wave Cultures:  Feminism, Subcultures, Activism,pp. 63-82.  Ed. Anita Harris. (Routledge 2008).

“Immanence, Transcendence, and Immersive Practices: Female Athletes in U.S. Neoliberalism, in the Scholar and the Feminist special issue “The Cultural Value of Sport: Title IX and Beyond,” eds. E. Grace Glenny and Janet Jakobsen.

“The Room” as `Heterosexual Closet’:  The Life and Death of Alternative Relationalities in Six Feet Under”, Third Wave Feminism and Television, pp. 189-217.  Ed. Merri Lisa Johnson  (I.B. Tauris, 2007).

“Producing Girls:  Empire, Sport, and the Neoliberal Body” in Physical Culture, Power, and the Body, pp. 101-120.  Eds. Patricia Vertinsky and Jennifer Hargreaves (Routledge, 2006).

“Achievement and Decline:  The Importance of Women’s Sport Participation to Public Health,” Femininities, Masculinities, and the Politics of Sexual Difference, eds. Dorothy Sue Cobble, Beth Hutchinson, and Amanda B. Chaloupka (Rutgers, 2004), pp. 89-93.

“Preface” to Susan Bordo’s Unbearable Weight, 10th Anniversary edition, University of California Press, 2003.

“It’s All About the Benjamins:  Economic Determinants of Third Wave Feminism” in Third Wave Feminism:  A Critical Exploration (Palgrave Macmillan), eds. Stacy Gillis, Becky Munford and Gill Howie (2005), pp. 13-23.

“The Individual’s Ghost:  Toward a New Mythology of the Postmodern,” American Mythologies:  Essays on Contemporary Literature, eds. William Blazek and Michael K. Glenday (Liverpool University Press, 2004), pp. 79-104.

“Strategies Used Against Women’s Causes and Effective Counter-Strategies,” The Women’s Sports Experience Vol. 11, Issue 3, Fall 2002 pp. 7-9.

“Anti-Feminist Rhetoric and Title IX,” Women’s E-News; The Press and Sun Bulletin, July 2002.


“Cross-Country Running,” “Social Constructivism,” “Narrative Theory,” in the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport (Berkshire Reference Works, 2005).


“The Importance of Being Lester,” Jane Sexes it Up, ed. Merri Lisa Johnson (N.Y.:  Four Windows, Four Walls, 2002), pp. 281-292.

“Girl Studies”, Routledge International Encylopedia of Women, (N.Y.:  Routledge, 2002): 62-69.

“Masculinity/Femininity,” International Encyclopedia of Women and Sport, (N.Y. and Boston:  Berkshire Reference Works/Macmillan, 2001), eds. Allen Guttmann and Gertrud Pfister:  392-95.


“Women’s Contributions to Cross-Country,” same as above, pp. 283-87.

“The Girls of Summer:  Social Contexts for the Year of the Woman at the `96 Olympics,” in The Olympics at the Millenium:  Power, Politics, and the Olympics, eds. Kay Schaffer and Sidonie Smith (New Brunswick:  Rutgers UP, 2000):  99-116.

“Ghettos of Obscurity:  Individual Sovereignty and the Struggle for Recognition in Female Bodybuilding,” in Picturing the Modern Amazon , ed. Joanna Frueh (NY:  Rizzoli, 2000):  72-85.

“When Descartes Met the Fitness Babe:  Academic Cartesianism and the Late Twentieth Century Cult of the Body,” in Feminist Interpretations of Descartes, ed. Susan Bordo (University Park:  Penn State University Press, 1999):  261-279.


“All-American Girls:  Jock Chic, Body Image and Sport,” in Adios, Barbie!: Women Write About Body Image and Ethnicity, ed. Ophira Edut (Seal Press, 1998), pp. 201-210.

“Masculinity Vanishing:  Bodybuilding and Contemporary Culture,” in Building Bodies, ed. Pamela L. Moore (New Brunswick:  Rutgers University Press, 1997):  165-183. (this article was the preliminary version of what appeared in revised form as part of a chapter in Bodymakers ).


“Athletic vs. Pornographic Eroticism:  How Muscle Magazines Compromise Female Athletes and Delegitimize the Sport of Bodybuilding in the Public Eye,” Mesomorphosis Interactive, http://www.mesomorphosis.com, June 1998 (Vol. 1, No. 1).

“After the Northern Lights:  Florence Griffith Joyner and the Making of Contemporary Women’s Sport,” Mesomorphosis Interactive, http:// www. mesomorphosis. com, November 1998 (Vol. 1, No. 7).

Ally McBeal and Postfeminism,”Chronicle of Higher Education, September 4, 1998, p. B9.

“Female Harassment is Still Widespread in Sport,” The New York Times, November 8, 1998, B39.

“Despite the Positive Rhetoric About Women’s Sports, Female Athletes Face a Culture of Sexual Harassment,”Chronicle of Higher Education, January 8, 1999, B4-5.


“If You Let Me Play:  the Adventure in Women’s Sport,” HUES March/April 1999:  16-17).

“Bodybuilding and Body Image,” in HUES, Winter 1998.

“My Body, My Corset:  Body Rituals, Then and Now,” HUES (website, December 1998).

“Cyberlove:  New Technologies, New Relationships, HUES (Jan/Feb.1999, pp. 8-9).



“Gendered Restraints:  Heart of Darkness and the Anorexic Logic of Literary Modernism” in Modernism, Gender, and Culture:  A Cultural Studies Approach, ed. Lisa Rado (New York:  Garland Publishing, 1997):  353-374.  The book is the second volume in the Wellesley Studies in Critical Theory, Literary History, and Culture series.

“The Shattered Glass:  The Blank Space of Being in Absalom, Absalom!.” The Faulkner Journal 3.2 (1988):  12-23.

“The Unreadable Text:  Conrad and `The Enigma of Woman’ in Victory.” Conradiana 25:3 (Spring 1994):  1-13.

“Gendering Conrad’s Corpus:  Alternative Modernisms in The Arrow of Gold.” A British Studies Sampler, ed. Richard D. Fulton (Vancouver:  Cannel,1994):  131-147.


Forthcoming:  I have been invited to give the keynote address at the symposium called “Bodyworks: Intersections of Sport, Art, and Culture (York University, Toronto, Canada, November 5th and 6th, 2009). The idea behind the symposium is to bring together academics, researchers, athletes and artists, for the purposes of creating dialogue between disciplines that can foster original, creative, beneficial research and/or cultural collaborations.

Invited reading at poetry festival May 2009, New Jersey

Keynote at Susan B. Anthony Institute, April 2009

Invited reading at University of Indianapolis, April 2009

“The Futures of Feminism,” Presidential Address, National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference, June 2006.

“Immanence, Transcendence, and Immersive Practices: Female Athletes in U.S. Neoliberalism,” University of Kentucky, March 2006.

“Karyotypes: The Myths and Mutations of Third Wave Feminism.” University of Kentucky and Berea College, March 2006.

Poetry readings from The Proving Grounds at the Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA July 2006; Ruskin Art Club, Los Angeles, June 2006; NWSA Conference, June 2006; Passaic Poetry Series, May 2006; Paterson Museum, April 2006; Montclair State College, April, 2006; University of Kentucky, March 2006; Cal State Sacramento, March 2006; University of the Pacific, March 2006; Cal State Stanislaus, March 2006; Coastal Carolina University, November 2005; Binghamton University, November 2005.

“Environmentalism, Authenticity and ‘Selling Out’ in Skater/Surf Culture,” North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, October 2005.

“Hard Body Panic:  Body Ideals in Fight Club, the Mass Media, and Your Local Gym,” Falcone Endowed Lecture, Cayuga College, October 3, 2005.

“Participatory Sport, Competitive Sport, and Public Health:  Reconsidering the Definition of `Sport’,” Keynote Speaker for Southeastern Colorado Area Health Education Annual Sports and Fitness Symposium, Colorado State University, March 4, 2005.

“Producing Girls:  Title IX, Empire, Sport,” Invited Feature Speaker for University of Maryland 2005 Kinesiology Symposium, “Sport as Discursive Technology,” February 18, 2005.

“Producing Girls:  Title IX, Empire, Sport,” Invited Feature Speaker for “Women and Sport: Before, During, and After Title IX Symposium” at Bowling Green State University, February 2-6, 2005.

Poetry Reading/Workshop Professor,Yogi Berra Museum, Montclair State University

April 7, 2005.  A public reading of my poetry and a writing workshop for students.

“Producing Girls:  Empire and Women’s Sport,” Invited Feature Speaker, University of British Columbia Physical Culture, Power, and the Body International Symposium, October 15-16, 2004.

“Shifting the Lens:  Athlete Commentary on How Media and Gender Inform Sport Experience,” North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Annual Conference, November 4, 2004.  (I also organized and moderated the panel this paper was part of).

“Elephants Among Gazelles:  Body Type in Particular Sports,” Invited Feature Speaker for University of Toronto Symposium on “The Politics of Obesity,” September 8, 2004.

“Shifting the Lens:  Athlete Commentary on How Media and Gender Inform Sport Experience North American Society for Sport History Annual Conference, May 30, 2004.  (I also organized and moderated the panel this was part of).

“The Male Body and Consumer Culture”, LeMoyne College, April 20, 2004.


“Bodies, Babes, and the WNBA:  A Third Wave Feminist Take on Female Athletes, for  “Cultural Politics and Third Wave Feminisms,” American Sociological Association meetings, August 16-19, 2003.


“Bodies, Babes, and the WNBA:  Representation, Public Health, and Title IX,” University of Illinois, Chicago, March 26, 2003.  Also did a book signing, and served as a consultant for the athletic department.


“Bodies, Babes, and the WNBA:  Representation, Public Health, and Title IX,” Cornell College, March 5-8, 2003.  Also readings from Pretty Good for a Girl, book signing, served as a consultant for athletic department, and taught women’s studies class.


“Bodies, Babes, and the WNBA:  Representation, Public Health, and Title IX,” John Carroll University, March 12, 2003.  Also taught a women’s studies class and served as a consultant for the athletic department.

“Media, Bodies, and Sport,” Bentley College, November 17-19, 2002.  Also readings from Pretty Good for a Girl, book signing, and taught women’s studies classes.


“The Physiology of Image:  Female Athletes and the Life Behind New Body Ideals for Women,” State University of New York, Buffalo, September 28, 2002.


“It’s All About the Benjamins:  Economic Determinants of That Third Wave Feminist Thang”, keynote address, with Jennifer Drake, for the Third Wave Feminism Conference, Purdue University, April 6, 2002.

“Hard Body Panic:  Reactions to the Six-Pack  Imperative in Fight Club, American Beauty, and Your Local Gym,” North American Society for the Study of Sport History, University of Western Ontario, May 29, 2001 (the same paper was presented at the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, November 8, 2000).

“Addressing Homophobia in Sport,” and “Dealing With Sexual Harassment in Sport,” at the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Annual Summit, Phoenix, Arizona, May 4-5, 2001

“Bodies, Babes, and the WNBA, or, Where’s Tiger Woods Naked in a Cape When You Really Need Him?”, at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, April 5-6, 2001.  I also met with the students from the campus Pitzer Women’s Center, attended a dinner in my honor sponsored by the Dean of Faculty, Dean of Students, Student PACT, Academic Events, Student Senate, and Gender and Feminist Studies, and gave a reading for undergraduates from Pretty Good for a Girl.


“Bodies, Babes, and the WNBA, or, Where’s Tiger Woods Naked in a Cape When You Really Need Him?”, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, March 23, 2001.  I also directed the reading group in Body Studies, gave a presentation on methodology for faculty and graduate students in the Kinesiology Department, and a reading from Pretty Good for a Girlfor undergraduates on the 23-24th.

A series of lectures on postmodernism and sport studies at The Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education in Oslo, Norway from October 9-13, 2000, and a paper, “Women We Love Who Kick Butt, Male Body Panic, and Other Synechdoches for Our Time.”

“Women and Power, Body Image and Sport,” for “Body Politics: Women, Culture, and Experiences of the Physical Self,” Randolph-Macon Women’s College, November 9-11, 2000.  This was a combination of academic presentation and a physical demonstration of power lifting.


“Bodies, Babes, and the WNBA, or, Where’s Tiger Woods Naked in a Cape When You Really Need Him?”, at “OLYMPIA’S DAUGHTERS: GENDER, SPORT, and the NEW MILLENNIUM,” University of Texas, Austin, November 4, 2000.

“Body Image in the Hyperreal,” invited speaker for the Fisher Lecture Series on Gender and Culture, Hobart, William, and Smith College, September 20-21, 2000.

“Postmodernism and Sport Studies,” Braudel Center Culture & Colloquium Series, SUNY-Binghamton, September 28, 2000.


“Their Lives Depend On It: Sport, Physical Activity, and the Health and Well-Being of American Girls,” Women’s Sports Foundation, 2004, with Don Sabo, Merrill Melnick, and Kate Miller. This research has been cited in an amicus brief submitted to the US Supreme Court, Jackson v. Birmingham in a case is related to Title IX legal issues.


Consultant on “The Women’s Sports Foundation Report:  Title IX and Race in Intercollegiate Sport” (Women’s Sports Foundation, 2003).

The Women’s Sports Foundation Report:  Addressing the Needs of Female Professional and Amateur Athletes” in conjunction with the Women’s Sports Foundation and the U.S. Olympic Committee based on focus group research with top professional and amateur female athletes regarding problems in their sports and initiatives for solutions. Results presented at the National Athlete’s Summit July 21. 1999.

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