Dunja Antunovic on Feminist Sports Media Studies: Past, Present, and Future Directions

Feminist Sports Media Studies: Past, Present, and Future Directions

On Friday, October 20th, 2023, visiting scholar Dr. Dunja Antunovic presented on feminist sport media studies at the Chan Gunn Pavilion to UBC Kinesiology grad students and faculty.

Abstract: For decades, scholars have raised concerns about gender inequalities in media coverage. Although women’s sports receive significant visibility during international events (e.g., Olympics), routine media coverage continues to focus on a select few men’s sports. While quantitative data reveal remarkable consistency in patterns across national contexts, qualitative analyses point to culturally specific differences in constructions of gender. As such, researchers continue to ask how women’s sports is represented in media on the local, national, and international levels.

In this talk, I overview key directions in research in feminist sport media studies over the last 40 years in terms of theoretical frameworks, methodology, and foci. Then, I propose three future directions to expand the central questions that drive scholarship: 1) articulations of feminism in sport media, 2) promotion of gender equality in the sports industry, and 3) cross-national comparisons.

The second part of the talk will be aimed primarily at graduate students in Kinesiology to discuss considerations for developing a research agenda and building collaborations that support these research directions. 


Dunja Antunovic (PhD, Penn State) is assistant professor of sport sociology, an affiliated scholar with the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the School of Kinesiology, and an affiliate faculty with the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Antunovic’s research is at the intersection of sociology of sport, sport communication, and feminist media studies with a focus on three broader areas: 1) visibility of women’s sport in the media; 2) cross-national research on media coverage of sport mega events, 3) theoretical and methodological directions. Antunovic has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and she is co-author with Dr. Cheryl Cooky (Purdue University) of the book Serving Equality: Feminism, Media, and Women’s Sports (Peter Lang). Antunovic received the Sociology of Sport Journal Early Career Researcher Award in 2022 and is the recipient of multiple teaching awards. Antunovic has taught communication theory and methods, international and global communication, sports promotion and publicity, and cultural diversity courses. She currently teaches in the areas of sport history, sport philosophy, and sport sociology. Antunovic competed in tennis internationally and in Division I athletics in the United States.