The Olympics: Politics and Protest (Leeds, UK, 17-18 July, 2008)


The Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education
at Leeds Metropolitan University invites papers
for the above conference, to be held at
Headingley Carnegie Stadium over 17th and
18th July 2008.

The Olympic Games are probably the most
popular event in the history of sport. The TV
audiences for both the Summer and the
Winter Games now approach saturation point,
the Games generate huge commercial
possibilities for ‘Olympic partners’ and a
deafening cheer goes up in the nominated
country when the venue for the next
tournament but one is revealed. Olympic
history – especially the history dispensed by
the International Olympic Committee itself – is
invariably a history of sporting triumph and
comradeship. The political dimensions of the
Olympic movement have too often been hidden
from its history – hence this conference.
We invite papers that take a critical stance on
the Olympic movement at some point in its
history. These papers may address any of the
following themes:
• de Coubertin and the establishment of the
modern Olympics
• campaigns against the Olympics and/or
specific Olympiads
• gender and the Olympics and the campaign
for gender equity
• racism and the Olympics
• the campaign to establish, and issues
around, the Paralympics
• the amateur-professional divide
• commercialism and the Olympics
• Olympics and the Cold War
• the Olympics as a site of protest
• the Olympics and ‘human rights’
• the Olympics and the environment
• critiques of Olympic ideology and
educational programmes
Needless to say, papers outside of these
specified themes will be considered.
Keynote Speakers:
Professor Helen Lenskyj (University of Toronto)
author of Inside the Olympic Industry (State
University of New York Press, 2000).
John Horne, Reader in the Sociology of Sport,
University of Edinburgh
Please direct outline of your proposed paper (300 words approx.), and any academic enquires,
to conference organiser:
Stephen Wagg
Reader in Sport and Society
Leeds Metropolitan University


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