department of kinesiology

25 Independence Way, Kingston, RI 02881


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Kyle W. Kusz

  • Associate Professor
  • Cultural Studies of Sport and Physical Culture
  • Phone: 401.874.5434
  • Email:
  • Mailing Address: Independence Square, Suite P, RM 212


Born and raised in Greece, New York, I attended Ithaca College as a naïve undergraduate where my life was changed by a sport sociology class taught by Dr. Stephen Mosher. Upon graduation, I expanded my horizons in innumerable ways when I moved to the Midwest to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  There, my world view was once again transformed both through my formal graduate education and through many lessons learned from people I never imagined I’d meet in my life.  As I completed my dissertation, I spent three enjoyable years beginning to learn the craft of collegiate teaching at Northern Illinois University.  In 2003, I moved back East to become an Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island.  At least once a week one can find me trying my best to make magic with a soccer ball.


My research focuses on examining the cultural politics of sports and media spectacles involving sport and sport celebrities.  More specifically, my work seeks to make visible ways in which sporting media spectacles, sport-related films, sporting celebrities, and sporting cultures operate as often overlooked and under-theorized political terrains that often play key roles in contemporary debates about race, gender, and nationalism.  In particular, I’m interested in the role that sports media narratives have played, and continue to play, in re-centering white masculinity and masking white privilege in post-civil rights America.  In the past I have examined media representations and the cultural significance of Lance Armstrong in the historical moment of 9/11 America; posthumous media memorializations of ex-NFL player turned soldier, Pat Tillman; and sport-related films such as Dogtown and Z Boys, Jerry Maguire, The Fan, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Murderball and others.

Some of these critical analyses of sporting media texts can be found in my book, Revolt of the White Athlete: Race, Media and the Emergence of Extreme Athletes in America. Peter Lang: New York, 2007.


  • Ph.D.,  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003 (Specialization: Cultural Studies of Sport and Physical Activity; Graduate Minor Certificate: Cultural Studies and Interpretive Research)
  • M.S.,  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1996 (Specialization: Cultural Studies of Sport and Physical Activity)
  • B.S., Sports Studies (Minor: Sociology), Ithaca College, 1994


Kusz, K.W.(2014). Market of Sorrow, Labor of Faith: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37(10), 1970-1973.

Kusz, K.W. (2014). For the Love of …National Manhood: The Cultural politics of remembering Pat Tillman. In T.Oates & Z. Furness’ Critical Cultural Perspectives on the National Football League. Temple University Press: Philadelphia, PA.

Kusz, K. (2013, March 15).  Taking the White Man-boy SeriouslyThe Feminist Wire.  

Kusz, K.W. (accepted, publication 2013). For the Love of…National Manhood: The Cultural politics of remembering Pat Tillman.  In T. Oates & Z. Furness’ Critical Cultural Perspectives on the National Football League.  Temple University Press: Philadelphia, PA.

Kusz, K.W. (2011).  Much Adu about Nothing? Freddy Adu and the politics of neoliberal racism in new millennium America.  In D. Leonard & C.R. King’s (Eds.) Commodified and Criminalized: New Racism and African American in American Sports (pp.147-164). The Scarecrow Press: Lanham, MD.

Kusz, K.W. (2011). Sincere fictions of whiteness in new millennium American sport films.  In S. Spickard Prettyman & B. Lampman’s (Ed.) Learning Culture Through Sport (2nd ed.) (pp. 124-142).  Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD.

Kusz, K. (2010, November 3).  Scaring White Folks, Inc.  The Providence Journal, B6.

Kusz, K.W. (2008).  Remasculinizing American white guys in/through new millennium American sport films. Sport in Society 11(2&3), 209-226.

Kusz, K.W. (2006).  Why be a ‘Jackass’?: Media Images of Young White Men In and Out of Sport in New Millennium America.  In S. Spickard Prettyman & B. Lampman’s (Ed.) Learning Culture Through Sport (pp. 182-196).  Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD.

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