The 101st Annual WSPECW Conference

"All that Glitters is Not Gold: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Title IX”


WE'RE BACK! This year's conference will be in-person November 17-20 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. 

The Committee (Program Chair, Michelle McAlaran, and Committee Members Sarah Eikleberry, Diane Williams, Shelley Lucas, and Aubrey Newland) have been hard at work, mapping out the schedule and inviting a few special guests. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of Title IX , we are very excited to invite not one, but two keynote speakers this year to help us talk about Title IX over the past 50 years and what its implications are now in the current day.


Our first keynote speaker, Dr. Akilah R. Carter-Francique (Ph.D., University of Georgia) is the Executive Director for the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society, and Social Change (ISSSSC) at San Jose State University. She is also an Associate Professor at SJSU in the Department of African American Studies. Her scholarly endeavors and field of focus encompasses the intersection of sport, society, and social justice that is inclusive of issues of diversity, social movements, and the dynamics of social change and development. Carter-Francique served as the 2018-2019 President of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), currently serves as a member of Laureus “Sport for Good” Research Council in the U.S., and she is the co-editor of Athletic Experience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Past, Present, and Persistence and Critical Race Theory: Black Athletic Experiences in the United States.


Our second keynote speaker Dr. Sarah K. Fields, is a Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver. She received a B.A. from Yale University, a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.A. from Washington State University, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. An award-winning teacher, she has previously taught at Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Georgia, and Ohio State University. Her research and teaching focus largely on the intersection of sport and American culture, specifically examining issues of law, gender, and injury. She is the author of Game Faces: Sport Celebrity and the Laws of Reputation (2016), Female Gladiators: Gender, Law, and Contact Sport in America (2005), and co-editor of Sport and the Law: Historical and Cultural intersections (2014). She has also published more than seventy-five book chapters and articles in scholarly journals such as the Journal of Sport History, the Journal of Sport Management, the American Journal of Sports Medicine, and JAMA: Pediatrics. She is the president-elect of the North American Society for Sport History. A life-long mediocre recreational level athlete, she competed in a variety of team sports including rugby and soccer for forty years. Age and knees now limit her, but Dr. Fields still curls and golfs; she also enjoys outdoor activities with her dog and wife as well as watching television with her cats.

In addition to these amazing speakers, Sarah Eikleberry, Historical Records Chair and her committee, are planning a few activities to help us commemorate 100 years of Western Society. Although last year was the actual 100th year of WSPECW, the planning committee felt as though this year being our first year back after a time of separation would be a nice time to celebrate this momentous occasion together! I look forward to seeing what they have planned!

As in years past, we will be meeting at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. Please note we are setting an early registration deadline for September 15th, to help give us a good idea of how many members are going to attend this year. Registration for lodging and meals will still occur with Asilomar directly but have a later registration deadline of October 15th.