Sport enables an interdisciplinary investigation of the social, economic, political and cultural elements of societies as well as the complexities, contradictions and liberations that get to the heart of the human condition. The Sports @ HI Initiative brings together scholars across The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and throughout the university and broader community to make meaning out of sport. We do this by: 1) Providing opportunities to learn from each other and create new knowledge in research seminars and public events and, 2) Supporting work that provides solutions to complex cultural, societal and ethical challenges in sports institutions as well as the broader societies that sporting spaces inevitably always reflect and influence.

Initiative Director Victoria Jackson

Victoria Jackson is a sports historian and clinical associate professor of history in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. Jackson writes and speaks about the intersection of sport and society, exploring how the games we play (and watch) tell us much about the communities – local, national, and global – in which we live. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate, Letras Libres (Mexico), El Universal (Mexico), Epoca (Brazil), The Independent (UK),The Athletic, and Sportico. Jackson has appeared on 60 Minutes to discuss American college sports and is a frequent podcast, radio, TV, and documentary film commentator on sport and society. She brings a historian's eye to the project of designing future sports systems that are inclusive, equitable, and just.

Jackson leads the sport humanities at ASU and teaches a package of sports history courses, which forms part of an interdisciplinary, liberal arts undergraduate certificate in “sports, cultures, and ethics." She is affiliated faculty with the American Studies program in the School of Social Transformation and a Global Sport Scholar with the Global Sport Institute at ASU. She also serves on advisory boards of nonprofits with missions focused on sport and social change. 

She holds MA and PhD degrees from Arizona State University, and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated summa cum laude and joined Phi Beta Kappa. Jackson was also a cross country and track and field athlete for UNC and ASU, Pac-10 conference champion at 5,000 meters, NCAA national champion for the Sun Devils at 10,000 meters, and a professional runner endorsed by Nike. Jackson works with Sun Devil Athletics on a variety of history, education, and leadership initiatives with athletes, coaches, administrators, and the greater Sun Devil community. She would like for her ASU school record in the 5,000 meters to be broken as soon as possible.