Call for Book Chapters

Gender in mountaineering adventure and leisure: Transformational change, politics, and experience

The codification of mountaineering, as a male-dominated activity, has changed little since the conjoining of adventure-ness to questions of modernity and manliness established during the Victorian period as a leisure and nation-building sport. This hypermasculine mountaineering legacy based on male institutions and styles of interaction has silenced the achievements of others (Hall, 2018; Frohlick, 2006; Ortner, 1999). Those of race, dis/ability, gender, sexuality other than the dominant norm (white heterosexual middle-class males from the West), are significantly underrepresented in mountaineering (Miller & Mair, 2019). Topographically and geographically femininity is virtually absent in the classification of mountain spaces and places as sporting and leisure destinations. As such, the mainstreaming of gender within current governance structures in mountaineering and mountain spaces and places has a long way to go before such inequalities are properly addressed. However, despite these challenges, those other than the dominant norm are using mountaineering to resist, rather than submit, to these constraints by employing a broad range of strategies that enables their participation (Evans & Anderson 2018). In doing so, they challenge traditional gendered discourse in mountaineering and thus hegemonic ideas about gender.

This international collection will feature contributions from a group of leading and emerging researchers and practitioners of mountaineering. As such, the volume seeks authors representing theoretical as well as applied perspectives across, adventure, tourism, sports coaching, geography, and sociology. For the first time, this book will explore the gendered nature of mountain adventure spaces and places, providing a deep analysis of the impact and inequalities that exist within mountaineering. Although scholarship on gender and inequality in sport is well documented (LaVoi & Baeth, 2018; Norman, 2010; 2018) there is a paucity of literature that investigates gender inequality in mountaineering and mountain adventure (Hall, 2018; Pomfret & Doran, 2015). The volume will offer insight across feminist, intersectional, poststructural, humanistic, affective, phenomenological and material perspectives focusing on transformation. The aim is to explore how gender matters in the 21st century, and the need for greater effort to identify change and improve equality in adventure sporting spaces. This book will be of interest to students, scholars in the fields of sociology of sport, physical culture, geography, anthropology, gender studies, leisure, tourism, sporting history, coaching, pedagogy, and education.

Through a broadly interdisciplinary approach which calls for scholarship across philosophy, geography, anthropology, social psychology, sport, and broadly the social sciences, the editors are looking for both theoretical and empirical chapters which interrogate and elucidate upon gender, inequality and the creation of transformational spaces in mountaineering.

Chapters may include but are not limited to:

  • Gender
  • Intersectionality of Sexuality, Race, Gender and Disability
  • Race
  • Disability
  • Sustainability/Environment
  • Education
  • Fitness
  • Wellbeing/Mental Health
  • Widening Participation
  • Travel/Borders/Transnationalism
  • Genre
  • Reality/Truth/Authenticity
  • The Reification of the Hero
  • Deviant leisure
  • Globalism/localism/Covid-ism
  • Spirituality/Sublime
  • Haptics/Sensuality
  • Emotion/affect/phenomenology
  • Politics/Governance
  • Subversion/psychology
  • Elitism/Exclusivity
  • Femininity/Masculinity
  • Death/Risk/Exposure
  • Representation in Film, Social Media, Marketing in the Private and Public Sector
  • Leisure/tourism

Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 200-word biography to: by 30 November 2020.


Evans, K., Anderson, D.M. (2018). ‘It’s never turned me back: Female mountain guides’ constraint negotiation. Annals of Leisure Research, 21 (1), pp. 9 – 31.

Hall, J. (2018) Women Mountaineers: A study of affect, sensoria and emotion. Thesis, York, York St John University.

Frohlick, S. (2006) Wanting children and wanting K2: The incommensurability of motherhood and mountaineering in Britain and North America in the late twentieth century. Gender, Place and Culture, 13 (5), pp. 477 – 490.

LaVoi, N. M., & Baeth, A. (2018). Women and sports coaching. In L. Mansfield, J. Caudwell, and B. Wheaton (Eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Feminism and Sport, Leisure and Physical Education (pp. 149-162). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Miller, M., Mair, H. (2019). Between space and place in mountaineering: navigating risk, death, and power Tourism Geographies, (1)16, doi: 10.1080/14616688.2019.1654538

Norman, L. (2010). Feeling second best: Elite women coaches’ experiences. Sociology of Sport Journal, 27(1), 89-104.

Norman, L. (2018). ‘“It’s sport, why does it matter?”’ Professional coaches’ perceptions of equity training. Sports Coaching Review, 7(2), 190-211.

Ortner, B.S. (1999) Life and death on Mount Everest: Sherpas and Himalayan mountaineering. Oxfordshire, Princeton University Press.

Pomfret, G., Doran, A. (2015) Gender and mountaineering tourism. In: Musa, G., Higham, J., and Thompson-Carr, A. eds. Mountaineering Tourism. London, Routledge, pp. 138 – 155.

N.B The proposal will be submitted to:

Global Culture and Sport Series – Palgrave Macmillan (sociology of sport and leisure)

Wagg, S (Ed), Andrews, D. (Ed)

The Global Culture and Sport series aims to contribute to and advance the debate about sport and globalization by engaging with various aspects of sport culture as a vehicle for critically excavating the tensions between the global and the local, transformation and tradition and sameness and difference. With studies ranging from snowboarding bodies, the globalization of rugby and the Olympics, to sport and migration, issues of racism and gender, and sport in the Arab world, this series showcases the range of exciting, pioneering research being developed in the field of sport sociology.


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