- Center for Advancement
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Department of American Studies
- Department of Cinematic Arts
- Department of Communication Studies
- Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies
- Department of History
- Department of Sociology and Criminology
- Obermann Center
- Office of the Provost
- Office of the Vice President for Research
- School of Journalism and Mass Communication
- University Libraries
Sports, Power, and Resistance: Legacies and Futures — Obermann Arts & Humanities Symposium
Sep 21, 2023
How can the history of activism in sports help us understand the dynamics shaping conflicts today? How might labor relations in sport be imagined differently? How does the structure of sporting entertainment provide opportunities and obstacles to activism, and how can activists navigate these challenges?
As fans flock to sports arenas to cheer for their favorite teams, these spaces are simultaneously important societal battlegrounds. From acts of political protest by players to legislative debates about who can compete on school teams, athletics are at the center of today’s culture wars. Join us for the Obermann Arts and Humanities Symposium “Sports, Power, and Resistance: Legacies and Futures” as leading scholars of history, sociology, cinema and media studies, rhetoric, and cultural studies map the past, explore the present, and chart future paths in the contested terrain of sports as a political force.
Organized by well-known scholars of sport, media and culture, Thomas Oates (American Studies and Journalism & Mass Communication) and Travis Vogan (Journalism & Mass Communication and American Studies), this symposium will contextualize the contemporary politicized sportscape within a long and significant history of political movements through sports. By bringing together research on political activism in sports, we hope to think through the possibilities for a new understanding of social relations through and in sport.
All symposium events—panels, lectures, screenings, and discussions—are free and open to the public.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at