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Bennie Niles

Research Interests

Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Sports; Sports Law and Policy; Black Gender and Sexuality Studies; Black Masculinities; Cultural Studies; Black Media and Popular Culture; Documentary Film Studies; Digital Humanities


Bennie’s dissertation, “Out of Bounds: Black Female Athletes and the Politics of Masculinization in Women’s Sports,” analyzes the transnational discourses surrounding contemporary (2000-Present) black female athletes in tennis, bodybuilding, and track & field. He traces the process by which black women in sports are racialized and gendered relative to other female athletes and seeks to explain the professional and personal impact of hypermasculinization in women’s sports.


2017, Hans E. Panofsky Pre-disseration Research Award
2017, Richard Iton Second Year Paper Award, Department of African American Studies
2017, Excellence in Mentoring Award, Department of African American Studies
2016 & 2017, Sexualities Project at Northwestern Summer Research Grant
2016 & 2017, Social Science Research Council Graduate Studies Enhancement Grant
2016, Buffett Institute Graduate Student Dissertation Research Travel Award


2017, Northwestern - SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship
2016, Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Honorable Mention
2015, Interdisciplinary Cluster Fellowship in Gender & Sexuality Studies
2015, University Fellowship, Northwestern University
2015, Senior Fellowship, Dartmouth College
2015, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Dartmouth College


Moore, Darnell L., and Bennie Niles. "In Dialogue: On Sports, Sports Activism, Sexual Freedom, & Other Types of Liberation." Football, Culture, & Power, edited by David J. Leonard, Kimberly B. George, and Wade Davis. New York: Routledge, 2016

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