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Mary Louise Adams - Queen's University. Kingston, ON, CA

Mary Louise Adams

Professor | Queen's University

Kingston, ON, CANADA

Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies





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Mary Louise Adams is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies and the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University where she teaches courses on sport and culture, the sociology of fitness and the body, and contemporary issues in sexuality. With a background in gender studies and sexuality studies, Mary Louise writes about feminism, gender and LGBTQ issues in sport. She is currently working on a project that looks at the implications – for girls’ lives – of the tremendous expansion of women’s sporting opportunities over the past few decades. Mary Louise is also interested in cultural aspects of fitness and has done both historical and sociological research on walking. She is currently investigating the way digital fitness tracking technologies, like fitbits, are changing the way people understand movement and physical activity.

Industry Expertise (6)


Leisure / Recreation


Sport - Amateur

Sport - Professional


Areas of Expertise (9)

Sport history

Sport sociology

Gender in sport

Sexuality and sport

Fitness cultures

Physical Activity

Walking - history and sociology

Sexuality Studies

LGBTQ History

Accomplishments (4)

Physical and Health Education & Kinesiology Students’ Association, Excellence in Teaching Award, Queen’s University (professional)


Award for undergraduate teaching

Women’s and Gender Studies Association Outstanding Scholarship Prize (professional)


For the book Artistic Impressions

North American Society for Sport History Book Award (professional)


For the book Artistic Impressions

Taylor & Francis Sport in History Journal Prize 2010 (professional)


Awarded annually to the best article in the journal of the British Society for Sport History - for "From mixed-sex sport to sport for girls"

Education (3)

University of Toronto: PhD, Sociology of Education 1994

University of Kent at Canterbury: MA, Women's Studies 1988

Trent University: BA, Anthropology/Environmental Studies 1983

Media Appearances (8)

When being healthy is unhealthy: Instagram style fitness is just another reason for women to hate their bodies

The Walrus  online


Comment in an article about "strong is the new skinny" and about the appropriation of feminist ideas by marketers in the fitness industry.

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The ice-skating dandies of 18th-century Paris

Atlas Obscura  online


Comment on the way physical activity - like figure skating - is shaped by ideas about class, gender and nationalism.

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City recommends course of action for Belle Park

Kingston Whig Standard  print


Comment on future of local golf course and recreational amenities for seniors.

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Is it sexist to drool over male Olympians?

AJ+ (Al Jazeera +)  online


Comment on coverage of male athletes at Rio Olympics.

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Gay abandon required in frozen closet of male ice skating

Irish Examiner  print


Comment on masculinity and homophobia in figure skating, related to Sochi Olympics.

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Green light for golf course group

Kingston Whig Standard  print


Comment on future of local golf course and surrounding greenspace.

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Why is the world's gayest sport stuck in the closet?

Buzzfeed  online


Comment on politics of gender and sexuality in figure skating, related to Sochi Olympics.

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The frozen closet

Newsweek  print


Comment on politics of gender and sexuality in figure skating, related to Sochi Olympics.

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