Thomas Owen

profile image

Senior Lecturer


Academic appointments:

  • Senior Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology (2014 - ongoing)
  • Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington (2013 - 2013)
  • Lecturer, Massey University (2011 - 2011)


  • PhD, Massey University
  • BA Hons, Victoria University of Wellington


Dr Owen's current research examines the communication of Privilege Loss. He teaches courses in Global Crises and the Media and Intercultural Communication, and supervises post graduate projects on a range of global communication issues: including white supremacy; doping in sports; protection of natural habitats; alternative cinema; and the impact of mega-developments on indigenous communities.

Research interests:

Privilege Loss; Global Crises; Indigenous Education; Social Movements; HIV/AIDS Medicines; Intellectual Property Rights; Discourse Analysis;

Professional activities:

Award, prize, fellowship, and scholarship

  • Teaching Team Award at the #AUT Excellence Awards 2019, Auckland University of Technology (2019)

Outreach and engagement

  • Managing Privilege Loss (In Ourselves and Others) (2020)
    NZEALS Auckland Region invites you to explore and debate Managing Privilege Loss (in ourselves and others) with provocation by Dr Thomas Owen Senior Lecturer, AUT 5:00pm (for refreshments and networking) 5:30 – 6:45pm session While privilege is unevenly distributed in society, we all have some experience of it – and, likely, some experience of losing it. Despite this, privilege loss is rarely openly discussed, leaving us few tools to manage it well. This provocation illuminates the concept of privilege loss, helping participants to identify common negative responses, and to explore positive ways for managing it.
  • TEDxAuckland Speaker (2019)
    I was invited to deliver a TED talk at the TEDxAuckland 2019 event based on my research into Privilege Loss.
  • White Privilege workshop (2019)
    I was invited by the Treaty Relations Group, of the Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Aotearoa New Zealand/Te Haahi Tuu Hauwiri, to facilitate a workshop exploring White Privilege, over their weekend seminar in Whanganui, New Zealand

Invitation to present research

  • The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Comm, Online (2020)
  • New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society, Auckland Reg, Pt. Chevalier School 7 Te Ra Road, Point Chevalier Auckland, 1022 New Zealand (2020)

Research outputs:

Featured research outputs


Journal articles

  • Owen, T., & Annabell, T. (2018). The Panama Papers in New Zealand media: A modern diachronic corpus assisted discourse study. Discourse, Context and Media, 24(August 2018), 117-128. doi:10.1016/j.dcm.2018.02.007

  • Owen, T. (2017). Lacan, Laclau, and the impossibility of free trade. MediaNZ, 16(2). Retrieved from

  • Baker, S., Owen, T., Rupar, V., Myllylahti, M., Devadas, V., Craig, G., & Berti, C. (2017). Diversity in reporting? A study of the news coverage of the 2016 New Zealand local body elections. MEDIANZ, 17(1). doi:10.11157/medianz-vol17iss1id184

  • Owen, T. (2017). Twenty one years of HIV/AIDS medicines in the newspaper: Patents, protest, and philanthropy. Media, Culture and Society. doi:10.1177/0163443717703795

  • Owen, T. (2016). Levi Obijiofor, New technologies in developing societies. Communication Research and Practice, 2(1). doi:10.1080/22041451.2016.1155342

  • Rupar, V., Owen, T., & Baker, S. (2015). Diversity, inclusivity, and the news: Coverage of the 2014 New Zealand general election. Media Studies Journal of Aoteraoa New Zealand (MEDIANZ), 15(2). doi:10.11157/medianz-vol15iss2id146

  • Lewthwaite, B., Owen, T., & Doiron, A. (2015). Curriculum change and self-governing agreements: A Yukon First Nation case study. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 17(3).

  • Lewthwaite, B., Owen, T., Doiron, A., Renaud, R., & McMillan, B. (2014). Culturally responsive teaching in Yukon First Nation settings: What does it look like and what is its influence?. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, (155).

  • Owen, T. (2014). The 'Access to Medincines' campaign vs. big pharma: Counter-hegemonic discourse change and the political economy of HIV/AIDS medicines. Critical Discourse Studies, 11(3). doi:10.1080/17405904.2014.915860

  • Lewthwaite, B., Doyle, T., & Owen, T. (2014). "Did something happen to you over the summer?": Tensions in intentions for chemistry education. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 15(2). doi:10.1039/c3rp00133d

  • Lewthwaite, B., Owen, T., Doiron, A., McMillan, B., & Renaud, R. (2013). Our stories about teaching and learning: A pedagogy of consequence for Yukon First Nation settings. Interchange, 44(1-2).

  • Owen, T. (2013). From “pirates” to “heroes”: News, discourse change, and the contested legitimacy of generic HIV/AIDS medicines. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 18(3). doi:10.1177/1940161213484523

  • Phelan, Sean., & Owen, T. (2010). The paradoxes of media globalization: On the banal world of New Zealand journalism. International Journal of Communication, 4.

  • Owen, T. (2009). HIV and AIDS medicine: Trade law, diplomatic pressure, and the future supply of generics. Just Change: Critical Thinking on Global Issues, 14(Feb-May).

  • Owen, T. (2009). R. Wodak and M. Krzyzanowski, Qualitative discourse analysis in the social sciences.. PRism Online PR Journal, 6(1). Retrieved from

Creative works

  • Owen, T. (2017). Our Stories: Self-Governing Education in the Tr'ondek Hwetch'in First Nation (No. Of Pieces: ) [Artefact]. Dawson City, Yukon, Canada: Tr'ondek Hwetch'in Government Education Department. Retrieved from

Book chapters

  • Owen, T. (2016). Neocolonialism, nation-building and global journalism in Aotearoa news. In Johnson, E, Tiso, G, Illingworth, S, & Bennett, B (Eds.), Don’t dream it’s over: Reimaging journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 103-110). Christchurch, NZ: Freerange Press. Retrieved from

  • Owen, T. (2013). Drug wars: The battle for the commons in global pharmaceuticals. In J. Moss, & J. Cederwall (Eds.), Freerange. Vol. 7, The Commons (pp. 22-27). Aotearoa, New Zealand: Freerange Press.

Conference contributions

  • Owen, T. (2019). Privilege vs. Privilege: The Strategic Communication of “Privilege” as a Floating Signifier to Neutralize Accusations of Privilege. In Communication, Technology & Human Dignity: Disputed Rights, Contested Truths. Madrid: International Association for Media and Communication Research. Retrieved from

  • Owen, T. (2019). Discourses of Privilege Loss. In 8th Annual Arts, Humanities, Social Science and Education Conference. Honolulu, Hawai'i. Retrieved from

  • Owen, T. (2018). Contingent Realities and (Counter)Hegemonic Discourses: The Mediated Fluidity of “Free Trade” and Intellectual Property. In ANZCA Auckland Multiple Realities 2018 (pp. 78-79). Auckland.

  • Owen, T. (2017). Global meets local: The Panama Papers story in the New Zealand media. In European Conference on Media, Communication and Film. Brighton.

  • Lewthwaite, B. E., Owen, T., Doiron, A., & Bennett, M. (2017). Educational change and self-governing agreements: A Yukon First Nation case study. In American Educational Research Association 2017 Annual Meeting. San Antonio, Texas.

  • Owen, T. (2015). Patents, pirates, poverty, and an almost-president: Notes on a corpus-assisted discourse analysis. In New Zealand Discourse Conference. Auckland.

  • Owen, T. (2015). 20 years of HIV/AIDS medicines news coverage: What can we learn?. In International Association for Media and Communication Research Conference. Montreal, Quebec.

  • Lewthwaite, Brian., Owen, Thomas., Doiron, Ashley., & Olson, J. (2015). Educational change and self-governance in a Yukon First Nation community. In Presentations from the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (pp. 1-24). Chicago, IL.

  • Rupar, Verica., Owen, Thomas., & Baker, Sarah. (2014). News, politics and diversity in the 2014 New Zealand General Election. In New Zealand Political Studies Association. Auckland.

  • Lewthwaite, B. E., & Owen, T. (2013). How do political changes accelerate changes in classroom practices for indigenous students? A Yukon First Nation example. In Sustainable International Leadership in Indigenous Research. Cairns, Queensland.

  • Lewthwaite, B. E., Doyle, T., & Owen, T. (2013). “Did something happen to you over the summer?” Tensions in intentions for chemistry education.. In Australasian Science Education Research Association Conference. Wellington.

  • Owen, T., & Lewthwaite, B. E. (2013). Culturally responsive science teaching in indigenous settings: What does it look and think like and what is its influence?. In Australasian Science Education Research Association Conference. Wellington.

  • Lewthwaite, B. E., Karmel, J., McMillan, B., Owen, T., & Renaud, R. (2012). Culturally responsive teaching in Yukon First Nations settings: Teachers responding to community voice. In American Educational Research Association Conference. Vancouver.

  • Lewthwaite, B. E., McMillan, B., Renaud, R., & Owen, T. (2012). Our stories about teaching and learning: A Yukon First Nation shares its stories to assist educators in becoming responsive to the learning styles and aspirations of their community. In Manitoba Education Research Network Forum No. 27. Winnipeg.

  • Owen, T. (2011). ACT UP vs. Al Gore 1999: HIV/AIDS medicines access and the mediatisation of protest. In Australia and New Zealand Communication Association Conference. Hamilton.

  • Owen, T. (2009). Patents, pills & protest: International press coverage of the ‘Access to Medicines’ campaign, 1997-2003. In New Zealand Postgraduate Conference. Wellington.

  • Owen, T. (2009). Representations of global governance in press coverage of the ‘Access to Medicines’ movement. In International Communication Association/University of Melbourne Conference. Melbourne.

  • Wood, A., Hainnu, R., Owen, T., & Lewthwaite, B. E. (2007). Science education in Inuit and Māori communities: Aspirations and perceived constraints and contributors for achieving aspirations. In National Association of Research in Science Teaching. New Orleans, LA.

  • Owen, T., Cuthbert, P., & Lewthwaite, B. E. (2007). “I want to enable teachers in their change”: Exploring the influence of a superintendent on science delivery. In National Association of Research in Science Teaching. New Orleans, LA.



  • Owen, T. (2012). Patents, pills, the press, and the poor: Discourse & hegemony in news coverage of the global “Access to Medicines” conflict, 1997-2003. (Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand).

Oral presentations

Other outputs