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headshot of Leslie L. Heywood

Leslie L. Heywood


English, General Literature and Rhetoric


Leslie Heywood is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Binghamton University. She is a transdisciplinary creative writer and scholar with book publications in creative nonfiction, poetry, gender and sport studies, and histories of feminism. Her articles have been published in disciplines ranging from cultural and sport studies to feminist psychology to affective neuroscience, as well as many creative writing journals. Books include Pretty Good for a Girl: A Memoir, Abnormal Repetitive Behaviors: Poems, and Dedication to Hunger: The Anorexic Aesthetic in Modern Culture. Representative articles include “`Strange Borrowing’: Affective Neuroscience, Neoliberalism, and the `Cruelly Optimistic’ Gendered Bodies of CrossFit”; Moving toward integrative feminist evolutionary behavioral sciences”; The CrossFit Sensorium: Visuality, Affect, and Immersive Sport”; and Affective Infrastructures: Toward a Cultural Neuropsychology of Sport.” Her current research, writing, and activities focuses on how creative writing and other arts can serve to makes connections between sustainability, climate change, and trauma with an eye toward mitigation strategies and community building. Heywood serves on the Sustainable Communities TAE steering committee, and is the director for the Arts and Humanities section of the Binghamton2degrees project.


  • PhD, English, Critical Theory Emphasis, University of California, Irvine.
  • MA, English, University of California, Irvine
  • MFA, Creative Writing, University of Arizona
  • BA, Creative Writing, University of Arizona

Research Interests

  • Creative nonfiction and poetry of place
  • Science Communication/AI, Environmental Humanities/Animal Studies
  • Gender and Sport Studies
  • Trauma and Embodiment

Teaching Interests

  • Creative Writing
  • Health Humanities
  • Environmental Humanities and Animal Studies
  • Sustainability
  • Affective Neuroscience
  • Embodiment
  • Trauma


  • SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activities: 2009
  • SUNY Chancellor's and University Award for Excellence in Teaching: 1997
  • Poetry twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize
  • Lost Arts nominated for the CNY Book Award
  • Built to Win received Honorable Mention
  • North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Book Award: 2004.
  • Lingua Franca named Pretty Good for a Girl a “Breakthrough Book” in the February: 2000 issue
  • The Nation named Third Wave Agenda a “Notable Book” in 1998
  • Election to Trustee and Executive Vice-President of the Women's Sports Foundation, 2002
  • The Women's Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King in 1973 is the world's largest foundation devoted to women's sports
  • American Association of University Women Community Action Grant: 1999–2000
  • “Strong Girls: Strong Women: Community Outreach and Education to Encourage Participation and Ethics in Girls' and Women's Sports”
  • State of New York/UUP Campus Grant: Spring 1999
  • “Exploring Possibilities for the Establishment of The Nell Jackson Center for the Study of Female Athletes”

Research Profile