Campus Directory: Michelle Helstein

University of Lethbridge

Michelle Helstein
Kinesiology & Physical Education
Office: A562 (University Hall)
Phone: (403) 380-1813
Associate Dean
Arts & Science, Dean's Office
Office: A562 (University Hall)
Phone: (403) 380-1813


B.A. (Physical Education, History); Ph.D. (Physical Education, Recreation)


Cultural studies, poststructural feminist theory, and popular culture as they intersect with sport, physical activity and the body, Media constructions of physical activity and sport discourses, Production and consumption of cultural identities, Desire and identification, 'Belonging' and community

Research Areas

Representation, Public and private sector funding, Popular culture, Women and sport, Female athlete, Desire, Identification

Previous Research Areas

Media, Advertising, Popular culture, Women, Sport, Female athlete, Desire, Identification, Nike

Selected Publications

Brayton, S., Helstein, M.T., Ramsey, M., and Rickards, N. (2017). Exploring the Missing Link Between the Concussion "Crisis" and Labor Politics in Professional Sports. Communication and Sport.

Davidson, J., and Helstein, M.T. (2016). Queering the gaze: Calgary hockey breasts, dynamics of desire, and colonial hauntings. Sociology of Sport Journal, 33(4), 282-293.

Adams, M.L., Helstein, M.T., Kim, K., McDonald, M.G., Davidson, J., Jamieson, K., King, S., Rail, G. (2015). Feminist cultural studies: Uncertainties and possibilities. Sociology of Sport Journal, 33(1), 75-91.

Helstein, M. T. (2010). Producing the Canadian Female Athlete: Negotiating the Popular Logics of Sport and Citizenship. In B. Beaty, D. Briton, G. Filax, and R. Sullivan (eds.). How Canadians Communicate III: Contexts of Canadian Popular Culture (pp. 241-258).

Walton, T. & Helstein, M.T. (2008). Triumph of Backlash: Wrestling community and the 'problem' of Title IX? Sociology of sport journal, 25(3), 369-386.

Helstein, M.T. (2007). Seeing your sporting body: Identity, subjectivity, and misrecognition. Sociology of sport journal, 24(1), 78-103.

Capon, D. & Helstein, M.T. (2005). 'Knowing' the hero: The female athlete and myth at work in Nike advertising. In S. Jackson & D. Andrews, Sport, culture and advertising: Identities, commodities & the politics of representation (pp. 39-58). London & New York: Routledge.(authors are equal contributors)

Helstein, M.T. (2005). Rethinking community: Introducing the Whatever female athlete. Sociology of sport journal, 22(1), 1-18.

Helstein, M.T. (2003). That's who I want to be: The politics and production of desire within Nike advertising to women. Journal of sport and social issues, 27(3), 276-292.

Current Research and Creative Activity

TitleLocationGrant InformationPrincipal InvestigatorCo Researchers
Representing active females: Private sector funding and the Canadian sport delivery system Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), $46,200, 2007.

Previous Research

TitleGrant AgencyCompletion Date
Critical cultural analysis of pleasure and popular desire within Nike advertising to female athletes University of Lethbridge Research Fund 2006
Investing in Nike: Discourse, Desire, and Difference in the Case of the Female Athlete Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) 2003

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