Pacific University Politics and Government Department Chair and Professor Jules Boykoff is a go-to voice of skepticism about the Games, and a particular critic of the choice to award them to Beijing. He offers an overview about these Olympics.
Jules Boykoff, PhD
At Pacific University, all faculty teach a variety of different courses. We do not use graduate teaching assistants, which means that your classes will be taught by professors and that you will have plenty of opportunities to get to know the faculty in your discipline.
Dr. Boykoff regularly teaches the following courses:
Areas of Research & Specialization
Professor Boykoff teaches courses and carries out research on U.S. politics, the politics of sports, mass-media politics, social movements, the suppression of dissent, and environmental politics.
PhD in Political Science, American University, Washington, D.C., in 2004
Master of Arts in Teaching with specialization in English and Spanish, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Ore., in 1998
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Portland, Portland, Ore., in 1993
The 1936 Berlin Olympics: Race, Power, and Sportswashing (Common Ground Publishing, 2023).
NOlympians: Inside the Fight Against Capitalist Mega-Sports in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Beyond (Fernwood Publishing, 2020).
Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics (Verso, 2016)
Activism and the Olympics: Dissent at the Games in Vancouver and London (Rutgers University Press, 2014)
Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games (Routledge, 2013)
Landscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry & Public Space, co-authored with Kaia Sand (Palm Press, 2008)
Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States (AK Press, 2007)
The Suppression of Dissent: How the State and Mass Media Squelch US American Social Movements (Routledge, 2006)
Selected Scholarly Publications
"Toward a Theory of Sportswashing: Mega- Events, Soft Power, and Political Conflict," Sociology of Sports Journal, Vol. 39, No. 4 (2022): 342-351.
"A Tale of Two Twitterstorms: The NFL, Donald Trump, and Digital Populism," in Populism and the Sport and Leisure Spectacle: Studies in Sport, Leisure, and Popular Culture, Alan Tomlinson, and Bryan Clift (eds.) (London: Routledge, 2021), 202-219.
"Olypic Sustainability or Olympic Smokescreen," Nature Sustainability, Vol. 4 (2021): 294-295.
"Tokyo 2020 and the End of Olympic History," (with Christopher Gaffney), Capitalism Nature Socialism, Vol. 31, No. 2 (2020): 1-19.
"The Political History of the Olympics and the Human Rights Thicket," Connecticut Journal of International Law, Vol. 35, No. 1 (2020): 1-16.
"Sporting Dissent: Colin Kaepernick, NFL Activism, and Media Framing Contests," (with Ben Carrington), International Review for the Sociology of Sport, (2019): 1-21.
"Riding the Lines: Academia, Public Intellectual Work, and Scholar-Activism," Sociology of Sport Journal, Vol. 35, No. 2 (2018): 81-88.
"Protest, Activism, and the Olympic Games: An Overview of Key Issues and Iconic Moments," International Journal of the History of Sport, Vol. 34, Issue 3-4, (Sept. 2017): 162-183.
"The Olympics, Sustainability, and Greenwashing: The Rio 2016 Summer Games," (with Gilmar Mascarenhas), Capitalism Nature Socialism, Vol. 27, No. 2 (2016): 1-11
"U.S. Media Coverage of the Cancún Climate Change Conference," PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 45, No. 2 (April 2012): 251-258
"The Tea Party Movement, Framing, and the U.S. Media," (with Eulalie Laschever) Social Movement Studies, Vol. 10, No. 4 (November 2011): 341-366
"The Leaf Blower, Capitalism, and the Atomization of Everyday Life," Capitalism Nature Socialism, Vol. 22, No. 3 (September 2011): 95-113
"Fun at the Games: The Anti-Olympics," New Left Review 67 (Jan-Feb 2011): 41-59
"'We're Going to Defend Ourselves': The Portland Chapter of the Black Panther Party and the Local Media Response," (with Martha Gies) Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 111, No. 3 (Fall 2010): 278-311
Selected Presentations & Conference Papers
"The Dangers of Sportswashing: Using the Game to Change Global Image," Alaska World Affairs Council, Anchorage, Alaska, October 2022.
"Sportswashing, Mega-Events and Political Conflict," Play the Game Conference, Odense, Denmark, June 2022.
"US Newspaper Coverage of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics," International Communications Association annual meeting, Paris, France, May 2022.
"The Political History of the Olympics and the Human Rights Thicket," Keynote lecture at the University of Connecticut Law School Symposium "Behind the Games: The Effect of the Olympics on Host Cities," April 2019.
"Anti-Olympics Activism: Protest, Politics, and the Path Ahead," Play the Game Conference, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, November 2017.
"Riding the Lines: Academia, Public Intellectual Work, and Scholar-Activism," Keynote lecture, North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Windsor, Canada, November 2017.
"The Politics of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," University of Texas, 10 March 2016.
"Os Jogos Olímpicos: Uma Perspectiva Internacional," Rio de Janeiro, 8 December 2015.
“Politics and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics” (with Jane Buchanan and David Harvey), City University of New York, New York, 21 February 2014.
Selected Popular Publications
"The World Cup in Qatar Is a Climate Catastrophe," Scientific American (23 November 2022).
"Fifty Years On, Matthews and Collett Are Owed an Apology for their Olumpic Expulsion," The Guardian, (7 September 2022).
"The Tragic Absurdity of Qatar's World Cup Sportswashing," (with Dave Zirin), The Nation (21 June 2022).
"Five Myths about the Olympics," Washington Post (9 July 2021).
"Tokyo Is Learning that the Only Force Stronger than a Pandemic Is the Olympics," Washington Post, 27 May 2021.
"A Sports Event Shouldn't Be a Superspreader. Cancel the Olympics," New York Times (11 May 2021).
"Tokyo Olympics Head Yoshiro Mori Called Out by Naomi Osaka and Others for Sexism. He Must Go," NBC News Think (10 February 2021).
"IOC Rules on Athlete Activism at the Olympics Violate UN Human Rights," The Irish Times, (17 November 2020).
"Cancel. The Olympics." New York Times, (18 March 2020).
"The Olympics Are Political. The IOC Ban Denies Reality—and Athletes Their Voice," NBC News Think (16 January 2020).
"Airbnb's Partnership with the Olympics Won't Help Cities - But Gentrifiers Will Love It," NBC News Think (25 November 2019).
"Tokyo's 2020 Olympics Are Showing the Nightmare Waiting for L.A. in 2028," (with Dave Zirin) Los Angeles Times (24 July 2019).
"Is Colin Kaepernick's Nike Deal Activism - Or Just Capitalism?" (with Ben Carrington) The Guardian (6 September 2018).
"The High Cost of the Olympic Games," Asahi Shimbun (2 February 2018).
"LA Is about to Discover that Democracy and the Olympics Don't Mix," The Guardian, 13 September 2017.
"Olympic Process Should Be on L.A.'s Timeline, Not the IOC's, to Determine If the Deal Is Good," Los Angeles Times, 10 August 2017.
Selected Media Appearances
Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman (29 November 2022). On sportswashing and greenwashing at the Qatar World Cup.
MSNBC, 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle (29 November 2022). On Qatar World Cup.
Tokyo Broadcasting System (29 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.
Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh (28 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.
BBC television (28 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.
CNN Newsroom with Rosemary Church (20 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.
Today, Explained (Vox) with Sean Rameswaram (19 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.
CBC (Canada) with Ginella Massa (19 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.
The Takeaway (WNYC, New York & NPR) with Matt Katz (18 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.
National Public Radio with Anthony Kuhn (14 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.
CTV (Canada) with Todd Vanderheyden (14 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.
CNN New Day with John Berman and Brianna Keilar (14 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.
Professor Boykoff is an avid supporter of poetry. He is the author of three poetry collections: Fireworks (Tinfish Press, 2018), Hegemonic Love Potion (Factory School, 2009) and Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge (2006, Edge Books, Washington, DC). His favorite poetry books are Remember to Wave by Kaia Sand, Sarajevo Blues by Semezdin Mehmedinovic, and Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems by Linton Kwesi Johnson.
He's also a sports aficionado. He played college soccer at the University of Portland under legendary coach Clive Charles. He also represented the U.S. Men's U-23 National Team (also called the Olympic Team) in international competition and played professional soccer for the Portland Pride, Minnesota Thunder, and Milwaukee Wave. More information at www.julesboykoff.org
Throughout the controversy over the Tokyo Games, Boykoff has been everywhere. Just this year, he has been cited or interviewed by the BBC, Reuters, the Sydney Morning Herald, the New York Times, NBC, Bloomberg, Time Magazine, the Voice of America, the Washington Post, CNBC, the Irish Times — in short, by every outlet looking for informed criticism of the Olympics.
Nicole George '16 is working to perpetuate and enhance the cultures of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people of southeast Alaska.
Paul Snell and Jules Boykoff, colleagues in Pacific's Politics and Government Department, have emerged as important voices as protests for racial and social justice rivet the country.
Jules Boykoff, professor of politics and government, wrote an article about the Portland homelessness crisis on commondreams.org.