Award-winning journalist to discuss intersection between sexual violence, sports

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Award-winning freelance journalist Jessica Luther will deliver a lecture titled “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: The Intersections of Sports and Sexual Violence,” in 101 Chambers Building at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

Luther will discuss the systemic ways that sports as a microcosm of our culture minimize and ignore issues of gendered violence. While her work frequently explores the particular intersection between college football and sexual violence, Luther’s lecture will explore how money, institutional hierarchies on campuses, compliance with Title IX, and sports culture and fandom also contribute to the problem — as well as offer ideas on how to fix it.

Luther is the author of “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape” and co-host of the feminist sports podcast “Burn It All Down.” Her work gained national attention in August 2015 while she was writing for Texas Monthly, when she and Dan Solomon broke the story about a Baylor football player on trial for sexual assault – a case known by only a few in the community at the time, and one that had not been reported in the media for nearly two years.  Her articles have appeared in ESPN Magazine, New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated, BuzzFeed, The Bleacher Report, the Texas Observer, and Vice Sports, among others.

Luther received her bachelor’s degree in classical civilizations and Greek/Latin from Florida State University and her master’s degree in Latin literature from the University of Texas. She is currently a fellow in UT’s Center for Sports Communication & Media and is a member of the Association for Women in Sports Media.

Luther’s lecture is the latest offering in the Penn State Department of African American Studies’ Racial Disposability and Cultures of Resistance Sawyer Seminar Series. The series, funded largely through a grant provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, seeks to identify and examine ways that marginalized racial subjects in the Americas disrupt the logic of disposability creatively, politically and intellectually, using practices of organized resistance and an everyday politics of refusal. Additional information can be found on the series website or by contacting Cynthia Young, associate professor and head of the Department of African American Studies, at

Luther’s visit is co-sponsored by the Penn State Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Penn State Gender Equity Center.

Last Updated February 06, 2018