Research at Leeds Beckett
Professor Andrew Sparkes
About Professor Andrew Sparkes
Andrew joined the university in 2013. His research and pedagogical interests are inspired by a continuing fascination with the ways that people experience different forms of embodiment over time in a variety of contexts. Andrew's work is necessarily nomadic in nature and dwells in the fertile cracks between disciplines where he finds much that intrigues, amuses and baffles him.
To develop an understanding of the temporal and emplaced dynamics of embodiment in physical cultures, Andrew is drawn towards qualitative forms of inquiry, such as, life history, ethnography, autoethnography and narrative approaches. He has published extensively on these topics in international peer reviewed journals and has also published numerous invited book chapters in major edited volumes.
Andrew is author of Telling tales in sport & physical activity: A qualitative journey, and co-author of Qualitative research methods in sport, exercise and health: From process to product. He is editor of Seeking the senses in physical culture: Sensuous scholarship in action, and co-editor of The Routledge handbook of qualitative research in sport and exercise, and also Advances in biographical methods: Creative applications.
Currently, Andrew is Editor of Auto/Biography Yearbook (the annual refereed journal of the British Sociological Association's study group on Life Writing). He is serves on the advisory boards of the following journals: Sport, Education and Society; Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health; Qualitative Research Journal. He also serves on the editorial board of the following journals: Journal of Aging Studies; The Sport Psychologist; International Journal of Men’s Health; Methodological Innovations Online; Qualitative Research in Education; Agora: Para la educacion fisica y el deporte.
Andrew teaches research methods to undergraduates and postgraduate students and he leads the PhD Programme in Qualitative Research Methods. He has acted as Director of Studies and supervised numerous successful PhD studies on a range of topics. Recent completions have focused on the following: Narratives of spinal cord injury, acquired disability, and the sporting body; Sensuous and embodied ways of knowing in Bouldering; The socially constructed and embodied meanings of effectiveness in the lives of physical education teachers; Older women and the meanings of physical activity in their lives; Transforming criminal lifestyles and enabling desistance through sport and physical activity; The use of hypnosis as an autoethnographic modality in the exploration and management of overweight and obesity.
Andrew has acted as external examiner for over 100 PhDs across a variety of disciplines (e.g., sport, health, education, psychology, sociology, and management studies), and a variety of countries (e.g., UK, USA, Canada, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, South Africa, and Spain).
- Interrupted body projects and the narrative reconstruction of self
- Ageing bodies in sport and physical activity contexts
- Sporting auto/biographies and body-self-culture relationships
- The senses and sensuous ways of knowing in physical cultures
- The development of qualitative research methodologies and creative analytical practices