Thomas Oates, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

What is Thomas’ story? 

Thomas’s primarily interest lies in sports coverage within magazines, newspapers, websites, video games, and videos.

During his childhood, Thomas would sometimes spend summer at work with his father, who was also an academic. To pass time, he would spend time leafing through bound copies of old Sports Illustrated magazines. He found himself fascinated in the kinds of stories that were told about great athlete and memorable games. Additionally, he found that there were innumerable ways to tell these stories, yet most conformed to similar patterns.

This is what motivates his research today as a UI assistant professor with a joint appointment in American Studies, where he primarily teachers the Sport Studies major and graduate track, along with Journalism and Mass Communication. He in continually interested in exploring how sport media make their subject meaningful and compelling in a changing cultural world.

  • JMC:1200 - Introduction to Media and Culture
  • JMC:2600 - Freedom of Expression
  • JMC:3135 - New Media and the Future of Sport
  • JMC:3184 - Narrative Sports Journalism
  • JMC:3540 - The Business of Sport Communication
  • Thomas P. Oates* and Zack Furness (eds.), The NFL: Critical and Cultural Approaches (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014).
  • Thomas P. Oates* and Robert Alan Brookey (eds.), Playing to Win: Sports and Video Games, edited collection under contract with Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2014).
  • Thomas Patrick Oates, “Failure is Not an Option: Race and Resistance in Personal History Documentaries.” Journal of Sport History, 41(2) (Summer 2014): 215-223.
  • Thomas P. Oates*** and Travis Vogan, “The Sporting Paratext, Reception, and the Male Domain in CBS’s ‘One Shining Moment,’” Communication and Sport, 2(4) (Winter 2014): 328-344.
  • Thomas P. Oates, “Representing the Audience: The Gendered Politics of Sport Media,” Feminist Media Studies, 12(4) (Winter 2012): 603-607.
  • Thomas Patrick Oates, “New Media and the Repackaging of NFL Fandom,” Sociology of Sport Journal, 26(1) (March 2009): 31-49.
  • Thomas P. Oates* and John Pauly, “Sports Journalism as Moral and Ethical Discourse,” Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 22(4) (December 2007): 332-347.
  • Thomas P. Oates, “The Erotic Gaze in the NFL Draft,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 4(1) (January 2007): 74-90.
  • Thomas Oates* and Judy Polumbaum, “Agile Big Man: The Flexible Marketing of Yao Ming,” Pacific Affairs, 77(2), (Summer 2004): 187-210.
  • Thomas P. Oates* and Meenakshi Gigi Durham, “The Mismeasure of Masculinity: The Male Body, “Race” and Power in the NFL Draft,” Patterns of Prejudice 38(3), (August 2004): 301-320.
  • Thomas P. Oates, “Madden Men: Masculinity and Marketing of a Video Game Franchise,” in R. Brookey and T. Oates (Eds.) Playing to Win: Sport and Video Games, Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 2014.
  • Thomas P. Oates*** and Robert Brookey, “Playing to Win: An Introduction,” in R. Brookey and T. Oates (Eds.) Playing to Win: Sport and Video Games, Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 2014.
  • Thomas P. Oates*** and Zack Furness, “The Political Football: Culture, Critique, and the NFL,” in Z. Furness and T. Oates (Eds.) The NFL: Critical and Cultural Approaches Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014, pp. 1-10.
  • Thomas Patrick Oates, “Constructing Replay, Consuming Bodies: Sport Media and Neoliberal Citizenship,” in Brummett, B. and A. Ishak (Eds.), Sports and Identity: New Agendas in Communication, Routledge Press, 2013, pp. 148-163.
  • Jennifer K. Wood and Thomas P. Oates***, “Brand Ex: The Unhappy Marriage of University Branding and Higher Education,” in Gilbertson, T. and G. Gilberson (Eds.), Knowledge Economy Academic and the Commodification Higher Education, Hampton Press, pp. 193-203.
  • New Agendas in Communication, Sport and Identity (all-expenses travel grant). Awarded by the University of Texas at Austin, 2013
  • Sociology of Sport Journal Outstanding Article. Awarded by the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, 2009
  • Excellence in Teaching. Awarded by Penn State University, New Kensington, 2007
  • Symposium Fellowship, Whalen Symposium on Media Ethics. Awarded by the University of St. Thomas, 2006
Thomas Oates
Ph.D., The University of Iowa, 2004
Contact Information

W331 Adler Journalism Building (AJB)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

American Studies Office

728 Jefferson Building (JB)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States