Tracie Canada
Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology

Tracie Canada is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and affiliated with the Sports & Race Project at Duke University. As a cultural anthropologist and ethnographer, she researches and teaches about race, sport, kinship, and the performing body.

She is currently working on her book manuscript, Tackling the Everyday: Race, Family, and Nation in Big-Time College Football, about the lived experiences of Black college football players. This work moves off the gridiron into the daily lives of the young Black athletes that sustain this American sport. Informed by more than a year of ethnographic research at universities in the southeastern United States, this book tells how institutional systems and everyday spaces order, discipline, and enact violence against Black players. Through an analysis of college athletes, Blackness, and two types of care, she argues that Black college football players successfully move through their everyday lives by reimagining certain kinship relationships and relying on various geographies of care.

An overall goal of her ethnographic research is to recenter and decanonize not only what we consider to be anthropological knowledge, but also who we consider to be academic and public knowledge producers. She is committed to bringing current social, political, and popular culture events into the intellectual conversation, and to highlighting how valuable lived and embodied knowledge can be. In her current and future projects, she aims to acknowledge what football, and the lived experiences of its Black players, can tell us about racial, historical, political, and power dynamics in the contemporary United States. She is particularly interested in the performing body to reveal how social hierarchies and inequalities manifest in embodied practice and how processes of violence and care are both impactful.

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