The Sci-Files – 11/21/2021 – Jen Fry – Sport Geography is Geography

Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes

Jen Fry
Jen Fry

On this week’s SciFiles, your hosts Chelsie and Daniel interview Jen Fry. Jen is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography at MSU. Particularly limited research has been conducted on the experiences of Black female volleyball players who played in Europe, and how place, space, and geography are intimately intertwined with how they experience life abroad based on their identities (Etzel et al., 2002). The centrality of place and space within sport and geography affects all aspects of a Black female’s experience while playing professionally. Such an impact affects both their professional and personal identities, as “each is concerned with space and the way it is occupied and they both focus on the way people move and interact in geographic space” (Bale, 2003, p. 12). Research on lived experiences of professional athletes who play overseas has received very little attention within the academic and athletic communities (Meisterjahn and Wrisberg, 2013). Through utilizing a mixed methods process of surveys and interviews, Jen’s research focuses on understanding the racial experiences of Black female professional volleyball players within Europe who have not existed within geography studies; or, more specifically, sport geography studies within lenses of Black Feminist Theory, Critical Race Theory, Black Geographies, and Theory of Racial Space. The goal of her research is to understand if Black female volleyball players from the United States experience race and racism while playing professionally in Europe, and if so, does it differ from racism experienced in the United States. Unsurprisingly, it was found they experience racism in both similarly and wildly different ways such as being spit on, teammates withholding their English skills, and being accused of prostitution. If you’re interested in talking about your MSU research on the radio or nominating a student, please email Chelsie and Danny at [email protected] Check The Sci-Files out on TwitterFacebookInstagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube!