1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Tracie Canada

B.A. Duke University 2013 

P.O. Box 400120 


Anthropology of sport; race theory; African American ethnography; institutions of higher education; North America


Tracie Canada

Expected 2020 University of Virginia Ph.D., Socio-Cultural Anthropology
2016 University of Virginia M.A., Socio-Cultural Anthropology
2013 Duke University B.A., cum laude, Cultural Anthropology and Spanish


Visit my website: Tracie Canada


My dissertation, “Tackling the Everyday: Race, Family, and Nation in Big-Time College Football,” explores the lived experiences of Black college football players as they navigate multiple ordering and ordered systems. The idea of such systems is implemented here to account for institutions and spaces that are regulated by certain rules, demand certain behaviors, and carry certain expectations. American football is one such standardized system that, in theory, disciplines and trains bodies, serves as a vehicle in the transmission of cultural values, and mirrors a modernist preoccupation with order and rationality. While this is one of the most prominent normalizing spaces that Black college football players must negotiate, there are important others in their everyday lives – like academics in a university setting and the ‘serious’ real world beyond the world of play – and they are all organized in a way that privileges whiteness.

Based on a year of ethnographic fieldwork conducted with Black players at universities in the southeastern U.S., my research argues that Black players negotiate these juxtaposing systems and create meaning within them through ideas of race that shape their own positionality, their personal ties, and how they navigate the various social worlds of which they are a part. Through the interconnectedness of race, affiliation, surveillance, and injury in their lives, my dissertation highlights Black players as teammates, as brothers, as sons, and as young, Black men.

List of Chair and Committee Members: George Mentore (Chair), Ira Bashkow, Getrude Fraser


Anthropology of sport; African American ethnography; institutions of higher education; United States