Shawn Forde



Assistant Professor


I grew up in Campbell River, on Vancouver Island, and following high school came to UBC to complete an undergraduate degree in Human Kinetics and then a bachelor’s degree in education. After my degree I worked for a BC Offshore School in China as a physical education teacher and department head. During this time in China, I developed an interest in the role that sport plays in development and completed a Certificate in International Development from UBC Continuing Studies. Following my time in China, I returned to Canada for a year and worked as a Teacher on Call in Richmond and Delta School Districts. Following this, I took a job with a sports-based HIV/AIDS prevention program operating in Lesotho. Building on this work, my graduate studies at UBC focused on sports-based community development, education, and social change efforts. My master’s research examined the curriculum used by sports-based HIV/AIDS prevention programs and my doctoral research involved ethnographic and historical research into the social and political role that soccer played in a South African township during and after apartheid. Utilizing arts-based research methods, this research illustrated how sporting clubs offered forms of community education that promoted political consciousness, community solidarity, and mutual aid. Overall, my research is concerned with the variety of ways that sport and physical activity have historically been, and continue to be, used for the purposes of community development and political engagement.

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Invited Presentations

Invited Talks and Lectures

Forde, S.D. (2017). Anthropology and Decolonization Seminar Series. University of Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, Department of Anthropology, April 4.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Forde, S.D. (2019). Football and forlorn hope: An ethnographic comic concerning the Grahamstown Soccer Association from 1975 to 1985. Anthropology Southern Africa, 42(4), 316-332.

Darnell, S.C., Whitley, M.A., Camiré, M., Massey, W. V., Blom, L. C., Chawansky, M., Forde, S.D., Hayden, L. (2019). Systematic reviews of sport for development literature: Managerial and policy implications. Journal of Global Sport Management. Online First, 1-18.

Whitley, M. A., Massey, W. V., Camiré, M., Blom, L. C., Chawansky, M., Forde, S.D., Boutet, M., Borbee, A., & Darnell, S. C. (2018). A systematic review of sport for development interventions across six global cities. Sport Management Review, 22(2), 181-193.

Forde, S.D., & Wilson, B. (2018). Radical sports journalism? Reflections on ‘alternative’ approaches to covering sport-related social issues. Sociology of Sport Journal, 35 (1), 66-76.

Forde, S.D., & Kota, A. (2016). Football as a terrain of struggle and hope: Beginning a dialogue on social change, hope and building a better world through sport. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 8 (5), 444-455.

Forde, S.D. (2015). Fear and loathing in Lesotho: An autoethnographic analysis of sport for development and peace. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 50 (8), 958 – 973.

Forde, S.D., & Frisby, W. (2015). Just be empowered: How girls are represented in a sport for development and peace HIV/AIDS prevention manual, Sport in Society, 18 (8), 882 – 894.

Forde, S. D., Lee, D. S., Mills, C., & Frisby, W. (2015). Moving towards social inclusion: Manager and staff perspectives on an award winning community sport and recreation program for immigrants. Sport Management Review, 18 (1), 126-138.

Forde, S.D. (2014). Look after yourself, or look after one another? An analysis of life skills in sport for development and peace HIV prevention curriculum. Sociology of Sport Journal, 31 (3), 287-303.

Book Chapters

Van Luijk, N., Forde, S.D., Yoon, L. (2018). Sport for development and peace and volunteering. In H. Collison, S. Darnell, R. Giulianotti, & D.Howe (Eds.). Routledge Handbook of Sport for Development and Peace, 299-309.

Forde, S.D., Waldman, D., Hayhurst, L., Frisby, W. (2017). Sport, social change, and development. In M. Silk, D. Andrews, & H. Thorpe (Eds.). Routledge Handbook of Physical Cultural studies, 568-579.