Diane Williams

Diane Williams
Research Interests: 
women’s and gender studies, women’s sport history, US history and culture, ethnic studies, sport studies, social justice education, queer theory

Diane Williams is a doctoral candidate in American Studies/Sport Studies, with a certificate in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation work focuses on the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), highlighting the unique contributions of AIAW to intercollegiate sport, women’s history and sport history through an examination of their educational and student-centered philosophy and practices. While at the University of Iowa, Diane has taught stand-alone sections of Understanding American Cultures (UAC), Women, Sport and Culture, Inequality in American Sport, and led discussion sections for Introduction to Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies and UAC. She has presented her work at annual conferences, including the North American Society for Sport History, North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Qualitative Inquiry, Social Justice through Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium, and the Western Society for Physical Education of College Women. She has also worked with the Obermann Center Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy and was invited to present as part of the Iowa Women’s Archives 25th Anniversary Symposium.

Diane has degrees in Exercise and Sport Studies (M.S., Smith College), Social Justice Education (M.Ed., University of Massachusetts, Amherst), and American Studies and Women's and Gender Studies (B.A., Williams College). She was an as Associate Producer on the Media Education Foundation's documentary, "Not Just a Game: Power, Politics, and American Sports," based on the work of sports journalist Dave Zirin. In 2011, The Nation magazine published a special issue on sports which included, "Revolution on Eight Wheels," an article Diane wrote on the contemporary roller derby revival. This article was included in Models for Writers: Short Essays for Composition, 12th edition, edited by Alfred Rosa and Paul Eschholz (2015). Diane is a proud former skater with Old Capitol City Roller Derby and Pioneer Valley Roller Derby. She also has taught seventh-grade geography and coached at the high school and collegiate level and brings all of these experiences into her scholarship and work.

Here’s a short video of Diane talking about her dissertation work on AIAW, created by Shannon Nolan, with the Obermann Center.