Sport and Modern/Contemporary Visual Culture

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "Visual Arts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 2650

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Art History and Archaeology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-0001, USA
Interests: African American art and culture; history, theory and criticism of American Art; global contemporary art; visual culture studies; identity and representation; history of photography.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Arts, “Sports and Modern/Contemporary Visual Culture,” explores the intersections of aesthetics and athletics in art and visual culture, both thematically and formally. Essays and projects consider the performative aspects of sports at the intersection of debates about race, gender, and sexuality in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. That is, how do images of athletic bodies function to shore up ideologies around whiteness and heteronormativity via the reaffirmation of stereotypes? We are interested in the ways in which sports culture holds the potential to complicate the notion of representational visibility in visual culture contexts, looking specifically at the constructs and performances of the athletic body. Papers will explore the ways that sports have both produced and reflected ideologies of beauty and freedom, as well as the inextricable links between representations (and performances) of athletes on and off “the field.” Authors may address the representation of sports across a wide array of visual media, including the fine arts, periodicals, television, and film, and use subjects and methodologies drawn from disciplines such as art history, visual studies, cultural studies, philosophy, and sports history. Proposed projects may include scholarly essays as well as more creative projects (e.g., visual or performance art, speculative writing, and interviews).         

Dr. Jordana Moore Saggese
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sport
  • physical culture
  • performance
  • modern art
  • contemporary art
  • visual culture

Published Papers (1 paper)

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13 pages, 275 KiB  
Representations of Hulk Hogan in the 1980s: Christianity, Masculinity, Xenophobia
by Conor Heffernan
Arts 2023, 12(1), 22; - 23 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1717
In 1984, professional wrestler Hulk Hogan defeated the Iron Sheik to win the WWF Heavyweight Title. Thus marked the birth of ‘Hulkamania’, a near-decade-long period when Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) crossed over into American popular culture. In the following years, Hogan [...] Read more.
In 1984, professional wrestler Hulk Hogan defeated the Iron Sheik to win the WWF Heavyweight Title. Thus marked the birth of ‘Hulkamania’, a near-decade-long period when Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) crossed over into American popular culture. In the following years, Hogan battled a series of proxies for America’s enemies, from the Soviet rival in Nikolai Volkoff, Iranian sympathizer Sergeant Slaughter, and the Japanese sumo wrestler Yokozuna, among other opponents. More importantly, Hogan appeared on American talk shows, the front of magazines, had his own children’s cartoons, and marketed workout devices, toys, food, and a host of other ephemera. Existing in a liminal space between sport and entertainment, professional wrestling allows athletes/performers far more opportunities to cultivate messages and meanings through their bodies. Using film, wrestling magazines, and wrestling broadcasts, this article argues that Hogan’s body and his use of his body were paramount to his success. More than that, the use of his body embodied ideals about American masculinity. It embodied all-American strength, an ability to succeed no matter the odds, and a fierce Christian patriotism. Hogan was one of the biggest stars of the 1980s, inside and outside of sport. His body and its representation are thus worthy of study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Modern/Contemporary Visual Culture)
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