Tim Oakes photo portrait
Professor of Geography • Cultural Politics; Economic and Social Change; China • Director of CAS • Ph.D. University of Washington, 1995
Human Geography

Research Interests

I am a cultural geographer of China, working on issues related to regional cultural development, culture industries, tourism, heritage, regional and place-based identities. My work focuses on the ways culture is used as a resource for development and governance objectives, identity politics, and tourism.

What's New

I recently co-edited a volume on Making Cultural Cities in Asia. Here's the publisher's blurb: "This book examines the vast and largely uncharted world of cultural/creative city-making in Asia. It explores the establishment of policy models and practices against the backdrop of a globalizing world, and considers the dynamic relationship between powerful actors and resources that impact Asian cities. Making Cultural Cities in Asia approaches this dynamic process through the lens of assemblage: how the policy models of cultural/creative cities have been extracted from the flow of ideas, and how re-invented versions have been assembled, territorialized, and exported. This approach reveals a spectrum between globally circulating ideals on the one hand, and the place-based contexts and contingencies on the other. At one end of the spectrum, this book features chapters on policy mobility, in particular the political construction of the "web" of communication and the restructuring or rescaling of the state. At the other end, chapters examine the increasingly fragmented social forces, their changing roles in the process, and their negotiations, alignments, and resistances.

"What's New" updated March 2016

More Info

I ski. I run. I climb. I have a dog. A typical Colorado profile.

Recent Courses Include

  • Fall 2016  GEOG 3822 (3) Geography of China

Selected Publications

Oakes, T. (2017). Catastrophic Asia: an introduction. Journal of Asian Studies 76(2): 401-407.

Oakes, T. (2017). Happy town: cultural governance and biopolitical urbanism in China. Environment and Planning A. 10.1177/0308518X17693621

Oakes, T. (2017). Mediating Asia: information, democracy and the state in and before the digital age. International Journal of Communication 17: http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/5152/1974.

Oakes, T. (2016). Villagizing the city: turning rural ethnic heritage into urban modernity in southwest China. International Journal of Heritage Studies 22(10): 751-765.

Wang, J., T. Oakes, and Y. Yang. (2016). Making Cultural Cities in Asia: Mobility, Assemblage, and the Politics of Aspirational Urbanism. London & New York: Routledge.

Publications updated June 2017