Chris Henderson

  • Assistant Teaching Professor
  • Public Relations/Sports Media and Communication
  • Email:


My research focuses on the critical study of sport communities with a particular emphasis on embodied performative practice, cultural geography and grassroots activism. I study how marginalized people perform sport and sport fandom in order to communicate, form community, claim space and take part in activism. 

I have taught classes on sport history, sport and gender, sport and race and sport media.    I emphasize community and experiential learning in the classroom.

Prior to working in higher education, I worked as a writer, photographer and site-specific public artist based in New York City collaborating on programs that negotiated and contested the borders between art, society, and politics. Work included interactive performative screenings, the formation of site-specific residency for visual and performing artists in the basement of a former hospital and long-form journalism on soccer.


My current research project is grounded in two performance ethnographies amongst fan groups in Portland, Oregon and Liverpool, England. I performed fandom and conducted interviews amongst the Rose City Riveters, a queer-led independent fan group for the Portland Thorns women’s soccer team and Fans Supporting Foodbanks, a collective stadium-based food collection effort by working class fans of two rival soccer clubs in Liverpool.


Ph.D., American Studies/Sports Studies, University of Iowa, 2020

M.A., American Studies/Sports Studies, University of Iowa, 2017

M.S., Journalism, Columbia University, 2002

B.A., Liberal Arts, Sarah Lawrence College, 1999

Selected Publications

Two Balls Is Too Many: Stadium Performance and Queerness Among Portland’s Rose City Riveters Supporter Club . Sport in Society. May 2018, 21:7, 1031-1046.

From Death to Spectacle: Football’s Neoliberal Revolution w/ Thomas Patrick Oates & Travis Vogan.  Addressing the Crisis: The Stuart Hall Project. May 2019, 1(1).

This Means More: Branded Solidarity at Liverpool’s Soccer Clubs w/ Thomas P. Oates. Communication & Sport. May 2022.