Samantha King

King Research Group



Samantha King

Dr. Samantha King

Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies

Cross-appointed to the Department of Gender Studies and the Cultural Studies Program

My scholarship focuses on the embodied dimensions of consumer culture. With interdisciplinary training spanning sociology, cultural studies, queer theory, critical race studies, feminist theory, and kinesiology, my work has been concentrated in five main areas to date: i) the breast cancer fundraising industry; ii) prescription painkilling; iii) sport, racialized sexuality, and the state; iv) eating animals; and v) protein cultures. My work is expressly political and I produce work designed to engage a variety of audiences.

My academic publications have appeared in Social Text, Ethnic and Racial Studies, the Sociology of Sport JournalHealth Communication, and the International Journal of Drug Policy, among other venues. My book, Pink Ribbons, Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy (University of Minnesota Press, 2006), is the subject of a National Film Board documentary by the same name. I am co-editor of Messy Eating: Conversations on Animals as Food (Fordham University Press, 2019). With Gavin Weedon (Nottingham Trent University), my current work investigates the environmental dimensions of protein consumption using a conceptual framework that we call “ecological embodiment.”


PhD, Kinesiology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2000

MA, Physical and Health Education, Queen’s University, 1993

B.Soc.Sci., Sport and Exercise Science and Sociology, University of Birmingham, 1991

Selected Publications


King, S., Carey, R. S., MacQuarrie, I., Millious, V.N., & Power, E. M., (Eds.). (2019). Messy Eating: Conversations on Animals as Food. New York: Fordham University Press.

King, S. (2006). Pink Ribbons, Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Recent Refereed Journal Articles/Book Chapters

Ventresca, M, & King, S. (2022). “Anesthetized gladiators:” Painkilling and Racial capitalism in the NFL. Sociology of Sport Journal. Advance online publication.

King, S. (2022). Of companionship, curfew, and conflict: Multispecies leisure in the age of COVID, Leisure Studies. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1080/02614367.2021.1989018

King, S. (2021). Meat, markets, and monopolies: The politics and economics of animal agriculture. Contemporary Sociology, 50, 202-205.

Ali, A. & King, S. (2021). “He could be dangerous”: Orientalism, the “migrant crisis”, and the ‘risky’ representation of Muslim boxers in TSN’s Radical Play. Sociology of Sport Journal. Advanced online publication.

King, S. & Weedon, G. (2021). The nature of the body in sport and physical culture: From bodies and environments to ecological embodiment. Sociology of Sport Journal, 38, 131-139.

King, S. (2020). Towards a multispecies sport studies. In Newman, J., Thorpe, H., & Andrews, D. L. (Eds.), Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body: Materialisms, Technologies, Ecologies (pp. 193-208). Rutgers University Press.

King, S., & Weedon, G. (2019). Embodiment is ecological: The metabolic lives of whey protein powder. Body & Society26(1):82-106.

King, S. & Weedon, G. (2019). Enacting bodies: The multiplicity of whey protein and the making of corporealities. In M. McDonald & J. Sterling (Eds), Sports, Society, and Technology – Bodies, Practices, and Knowledge Production (pp. 175-194). Palgrave-Macmillan

King, S. (2017). Feminist cultural studies. In L. Mansfield, J. Caudwell, B. Watson & B. Wheaton (Eds.), Palgrave Handbook of Feminisms in Sport, Leisure and Physical Education. London: Palgrave.

Adams M.L., Davidson, J., Jamieson, K., Helstein, M., Kyoung-Yim, K., King, S., McDonald, M.G., & Rail, G. (2016). Feminist cultural studies: Uncertainties and possibilities. Sociology of Sport Journal, 33, 75-91.

King, S. (2015). Poststructuralism and the sociology of sport. In R. Giulianotti (Ed). Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Sport (pp. 94-104). London: Routledge.


King, S. & Mukhina, N. (2021, August 17). Making sense of vaccine hesitancy in Russia: Lessons from the past and present. The Conversation. [].

Recent Talks

King, S. (2022). Before “Beyond Meat: Athletic bodies, protein prospecting and ecological crises. Alan Ingham Memorial Lecture, North American Society for the Sociology of Sport. Montreal.

King, S. (2021). Of companionship, curfew, and conflict: Multispecies leisure and struggles for justice in the age of COVID, Keynote Lecture, Leisure Studies Association, UK. (Online due to COVID).  

King, S. (2020). Meat, prey, love: Human-animal relations in the time of COVID. Contagion Cultures series, Queen’s University.


Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant: Protein Cultures: The Economies and Ecologies of an Über Nutrient, $95,450, 2020-23. (Co-applicants: Chris McGlory and Gavin Weedon).


Sociology of Sport Journal Outstanding Article Award, North American for the Sociology of Sport, 2015, for King, S., Carey, R.S., Jinnah, N., Millington, R., Phillipson, A., Prouse, C., and Ventresca, M. (2014). “When is a drug not a drug? Brett Favre, prescription painkillers, and the National Football League.” Sociology of Sport Journal, 31, 249-266.

Sociology of Sport Journal Outstanding Article Award, North American for the Sociology of Sport, 2009, for King, S. (2008). “What’s Queer About (Queer) Sport Sociology Now?” Sociology of Sport Journal, 25, 419-442.

Honorable Mention, Virginia A. Hodgkinson Research Book Prize, Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action for Pink Ribbons, Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy, 2007.

Courses Taught

Graduate Courses

KHS 869: The Body and Social Theory

Undergraduate Courses
KNPE 167: Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Sport and Physical Activity

HLTH 334: The Politics of Health and Illness

KNPE 495: Animals, Health and Society

HLTH 497 Ecological Embodiment: The Politics of Food, Fitness, and the Environment