Dr. Jessica Skolnikoff is a cultural anthropologist who investigates youth dispositions toward physical activity across the United States. Her work explores how children develop attitudes and habits related to exercise and physical activity. Present data collection consists of interviewing families and students of middle-school age focusing on views and practices in their culture. Skolnikoff’s cross-cultural research highlights the relevance of social and cultural values that affect long-term beliefs and behaviors about physical activity.
Sport, recreation, play, gender, children, disability and identity, and teaching scholarship.
Roger Williams University Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Fall 2005-Present.
RWU Faculty Advisor to Peer Pals, Fall 2010-Present.
Advisory Board to RWU Service Learning Program, Fall 2004-Present.
Board Member At-Large of the Northeastern Anthropology Association, 2013-Present
Editor-in-Chief, Northeastern Anthropology Association Newsletter (published quarterly), 2004-2013.
Selected Publications and Presentations:
(2013) Young Athletes, Couch Potatoes, and Helicopter Parents: The Productivity of Play. Co-authored with Robert Engvall. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
(2010) Lots of Moving Parts: Is Service Learning Sustainable in a College Classroom? Co-written with Robert Engvall and KC Ferrara, Currents in Teaching and Learning. Vol. 3 no.1.
(2010) “Politics of Colonialism through the Lens of Baseball Academies” In The Politics of Baseball: Essays on the Pastime and Power at Home and Abroad. Co-authored with Dr. Robert Engvall. Ron Briley ed. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers.
“Me First: There may not be an I in Team, but there’s a Me.” Paper presented at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Conference. Co-authored with Robert Engvall. 2013.
“Academic Integrity: Respect in the Classroom.” Paper presented at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference. Co-authored with Robert Engvall, Colleen Finan and Kelly Hutcherson. 2012
“ ‘Sandlot:’ Is there still unstructured play?” Paper presented at the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association’s Annual Association’s Annual Conference. Co-authored with Robert Engvall. 2011
“The Power of Play.” Paper presented at the Society for the Anthropology of North America Conference. 2010
“Why is the Coach’s Son Always the Quarterback?” Paper presented at the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Conference. Co-authored with Robert Engvall. 2009
“Athletic Capital”: Status, Performance and Middle School Physical Activity Levels.” Paper presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Meeting. 2009
“The Widening Gap of Youth Activity Level.” Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Meeting. Co-authored with Marybeth MacPhee. 2008
ANTH 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 244 Anthropology of Sport
ANTH 210 Language and Culture
ANTH 300 Reading Ethnography
ANTH 310 Applied Anthropology
ANTH 430 Sports, Recreation and Culture