Rayvon Fouché

Director and Associate Professor, American Studies

Current Projects/

Technology and Sport

As we approach the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, science and technology are becoming increasingly influential upon the nature of sport.  Arguably, sport, science, and technology are defining elements of contemporary life. This research examines the relationships between sport, science, and technology.  We are at a key moment in understanding what is at stake for sporting cultures that are beginning to define themselves by the scientific knowledge and technological artifacts deemed permissible.  Old debates centering on what is an authentic athletic performance, what is a natural body, and how these performances can be trusted have become increasingly relevant, but are more difficult to sort out in our ever-changing technoscientific landscape.  These new issues reflect historical concerns about machines superseding humanity.  As it has become evident that technoscientific knowledge and artifacts have reached the point that they can reshape the outcomes of most sporting competitions, most sport governing bodies have intensified their efforts to increase the physical and metaphorical distance between athletes and science and technology.  Of course, this is a slippery slope.  Contemporary sport is one large case study for the co-production of sport and technoscience.  All sports are replete with technoscientific innovations and have become the testing grounds for new practices and devices.  Given the remarkable transformations in sporting science and technology, the broad research question this work will address is: how have sport governing bodies used the power and authority of technoscientific tests to define what is or in not an authentic athletic performance.