Bieke Gils

Associate Professor

Fakultet for humaniora, idretts- og utdanningsvitenskap
Institutt for friluftsliv, idrett og kroppsøving
Campus Bø (1-221)
I am a sport sociologist/historian with a specific interest in the field of gender and the moving (fe)male body. My research to date has been largely historical in nature and has focussed on female pioneers in a variety of fields, physical culture and aspects of gender and sexuality around the turn of the twentieth century. Currently I am working on several projects about female leadership in Norway, in different sporting contexts.


I am responsible for IDR 101: Samfunn, kropp og bevegelse (1st year Bachelor course in idrettsvitenskap/sport sciences)

I mentor bachelor as well as master students in their research projects and teach in the following courses:

IDR 101: Samfunn, kropp, bevegelse

IDR 1013: Sosiologi 2

IDR 1111: Sosiologi 3

IDR 1031: Arrangements- og prosjektledelse

IDR 1040: Planlegging, helse og tilrettelegging

IDR 1071: Instruktørrollen i helserelatert trening


2015-2016: Postdoctoral researcher, School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, Canada with Dr. Patricia Vertinsky.

2009-2014: Ph.D., School of Kinesiology (Faculty of Education), University of British Columbia, Canada. Supervisor: Dr. Patricia Vertinsky

2007-2009: Master in Sport Management/Kinesiology, University of Windsor, Ontario with Dr. Scott Martin and Dr. Kathleen McCrone

2002-2006: Bachelor in Sport Management/Kinesiology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium with Dr. Roland Renson and Dr. Pascal Delheye


Gils, Bieke. “Bessie Coleman: “The Only Race Aviatrix in the World.”” Chapter 5 In Before Jackie Robinson. The transcendent role of Black sporting pioneers, ed. Gerald Gems, University of Nebraska Press, 2017. 

Vertinsky, Patricia and Bieke Gils, “ ‘Watch Britain’: Movement  Education, Transnational Exchanges and the Contested Terrain of Physical Education in Mid- Twentieth Century Canada,” forthcoming Journal of Sport History, 44, No. 3 (Fall 2017), pp. 456-475.

Vertinsky, Patricia and Bieke Gils, “ ‘Physical Education’s First Lady of the World’: Dorothy Sears Ainsworth and The International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Women and Girls,’ ” The International Journal of the History of Sport,  33 (13) (2016):  1500-1516.

Vertinsky, Patricia and Bieke Gils, “Those Good Gertrudes’ ! A lady well qualified to show the way:  Advancing Opportunities for Women and Girls in Physical Education and Sport through IAPESGW,” in Global Scholar, Global Spirit, eds. Annette Hofmann, Gerald Gems and Susanna Hedenborg, 133-45. Total Health Publications, Oslo, Norway, 2015.

Gils, Bieke. “Le Numéro Barbette: Destabilizing Gender on the High Wire and the Flying Trapeze.” Sport in History, published online July 28, 2015. DOI: 10.1080/17460263.2015.1062411

Gils, Bieke. “Flying, Flirting and Flexing: Charmion’s Trapeze Act, Sexuality and Physical Culture at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.” Journal of Sport History 41 (2) (2014): 251-68.

Gils, Bieke. “Didrikson, Mildred Ella,” in Sports Around the World: History, Culture, and Practice, ed. John Nauright and Charles Parrish, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2012.

Gils, Bieke. ““The Only Race Aviatrix in the World”: A Tribute to Bessie Coleman (1892-1926).” Stadion: International Journal of the History of Sport 37 (1) (2011): 55-81.

Ameye, Thomas, Bieke Gils and Pascal Delheye. “Daredevils and Early Birds: Belgian Pioneers in Automobile Racing and Aerial sports during the Belle Époque.” International Journal of the History of Sport 28 (2) (2011): 205-39.

Van Hecke, Etienne, Filip De Maesschalck, Bieke Gils & Vera Verbestel. Needs for sport infrastructure in Flanders: an analysis of the availability of space (Behoeften aan Sportinfrastructuur in Vlaanderen: een Ruimtelijke Analyse), K.U Leuven Report: Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie, 2008.

Gils, Bieke. “Breaking new ground, down to earth and in the air: Belgian pioneers in rally racing and aerial sport during the Belle Epoque.,” Sportimonium 26 (2006): 74-81.