Sarah Crews

Sarah Crews

Dr

20122023

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Personal profile

Research interests

My key research interests include: Boxing, performance and physical culture, performance pedagogies, practice as research and performance and the body. 

I am an experienced researcher in the fields of performance studies, sport and heritage. My research cuts across disciplines due to the focus on issues regarding gender and identity, and broader questions of power and embodied experience. I am an expert in women’s boxing, wherein my research tackles the historical and structural challenges effecting female boxers in the commercial and community-based sectors of professional and amateur boxing. This work contributes to the emerging field of sport and performance, drawing links between critical and creative enquiry regarding physical culture, health and wellbeing and lived experiences.

My research outputs include a co-authored monograph, book chapters, over 8 peer-reviewed journal articles, performances, and an archive and YouTube channel. I am an experienced editor, having edited 1 special edition of Performance Research ‘On Blood’, and a collection for Routledge on boxing. My co-authored monograph entitled Boxing and Performance: Memetic Hauntings (2020), is the first and only text to situate the experiences of male and female boxing bodies alongside each other. This work draws on ethnographic practices and unpacks the dominant, hegemonic narratives that haunt the sport of boxing. I am co-editor of Boxing, Narrative, Culture: Critical Perspectives (2023), which is the first interdisciplinary response to the dominant boxing narratives that are produced, performed and circulated in commercial boxing culture. This publication includes global perspectives on boxing, highlighting the diverse range of bodies and communities that engage with boxing practices but are oftentimes overlooked and overwritten by narrative tropes and ideals that underpin popular readings of the sport. 

I lead a sporting heritage project entitled 'Women’s Boxing Wales: Past, Present and Future' (WBW), which is funded by National Heritage Lottery Funding. The project seeks to document the experiences of female participants in Welsh boxing and celebrate the contributions they have made to the rich history of boxing in Wales. WBW seeks to better understand how and where women and girls have been involved in boxing, and where there are possibilities to support female athletes and participants now and in the future. 

Links to this project: https://linktr.ee/womensboxingwales?utm_source=linktree_profile_share&ltsid=90b1fb0b-670b-46f4-ac81-f18777c0a7d5

I am co-convenor of TaPRA's Bodies and Performance working group. I have attended several training course on Mary Overlie's Six Viewpoints, and I run workshops on this method. I am also a TedX presenter, having presented my work on women's boxing in my talk 'The Bleeding Space': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5_i0UIbrbY

This talk explores how female boxers and the role of blood in boxing might help us rethink the gendered limitations that often prevent young women and girls from participating in sport. 

Teaching interests

Directing and devising live performance. 

Critical and cultural theory

New Media Performacne 

Gender and sexualities 

Boxing

Education/Academic qualification

Critical and Cultural Theory, PG Cert, Cardiff University

Award Date: 24 Jul 2017

Theatre and Performance, PhD, Wrestling with the Text: Production Practices in Staging Howard Barker

Award Date: 15 Dec 2016

Higher Education , PG Cert

Award Date: 16 Jul 2012

Theatre Directing, MA, Royal Holloway

Award Date: 19 Jul 2010

Performing Arts, BA (Hons), Performing Arts

Award Date: 14 Sept 2009

External positions

Member TaPRA

Member SCUDD

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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