Professor and Chair
Ph.D., University of Illinois
Born in the Land of Oz, Dr. King resided in Alaska and Portland before settling in Kansas City for his wonder years. Attending the University of Kansas, he earned a B.A. and an M.A. in cultural anthropology, but more importantly drank schnapps with Fishbone, celebrated a national championship in basketball, became obsessed with the writings of Foucault, flirted with undertaking fieldwork in Polynesia, and fell in love with a rare jewel, who continues to dazzle him with her wit and beauty.
In 1992, he stepped off the yellow brick road, venturing to the University of Illinois. There, confronted with Chief Illiniwek and cultural studies, he became a bad anthropologist. He came to WSU after teaching at Drake University in Des Moines for six years.
His two daughters alternately delight, challenge, entertain, and inspire him. He especially enjoys rediscovering the world by their sides as they build sandcastles, walk in the woods, or bake cookies.
Dr. King has written extensively on the changing contours of race in post–Civil Rights America, the colonial legacies and postcolonial predicaments of American culture, and struggles over Indianness in public culture. His work has appeared a variety of journals, such as American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Public Historian, and Qualitative Inquiry. He is also the author/editor of several books, including Team Spirits: The Native American Mascot Controversy (a CHOICE 2001 Outstanding Academic Title) and Postcolonial America. He has recently completed Native American Athletes in Sport and Society and The Encyclopedia of Native Americans and Sport.
Dr. King's research concentrates on the racial politics of culture. He is particularly interested in theories of race and racism, white supremacist movements and ideologies, and the forms of memory, representation, identity, and power animating race relations. He has explored these themes in the context of expressive culture (museums, tourism, and sports) and political struggles (indigenous activism concerned with representation, naming, and history).
More recently, while continuing to think about the Native American mascot controversy, Dr. King has expanded his inquiry into the racialization of sporting worlds, examining on the one hand the rich heritage and lasting significance of athleticism in Native America, while on the other hand interrogating mainstream and extreme accounts of race and sport.
Presently, he is investigating commodity racism, especially in children's culture, the use and abuse of the Holocaust in contemporary politics, and white power and/as popular culture.
The intersections of race, culture, and power center the classes taught by Dr. King. He teaches many of the core courses in the Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies. He also regularly offers courses in the area of Native American studies and cultural studies. He hopes to develop new courses on race and racism in global context and race/culture/power in the Pacific Northwest in the near future.
Contact Dr. King
TH: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
and by appointment