Queen Mary Olympics Lecture Series

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15 March 2011

Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Skeel Lecture Theatre, People's Palace, Mile End Campus

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The 1972 Munich Olympics, remembered almost exclusively for the devastating terrorist attack on the Israeli team, were intended to showcase the New Germany and replace lingering memories of the Third Reich. That hope was all but obliterated in the early hours of September 5, when gun-wielding Palestinians murdered 11 members of the Israeli team. Setting these Games into both the context of the Federal Republic of the late 1960s and early 1970s and the history of the modern Olympiad, this lecture will explore the uncanny links between the 1972 Games and their infamous antecedent, the Berlin Olympics of 1936.

Christopher Young is Reader in Modern and Medieval German Studies and Fellow of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. He has authored and co-edited eight books on German language, literature and culture, and a further six volumes and journal special issues on international sport. In 2010, 'The Munich Olympics 1972 and the Making of Modern Germany' (with Kay Schiller), for which he received support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Academy and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, appeared with the University of California Press in 2010. Having just completed a four-year stretch as Head of the Department of German and Dutch, he is Permanent Visiting Fellow at the Frierich Schlegel Graduiertenschule für literaturwissenschaftliche Studien at the Freie Universität, Berlin.

The Queen Mary Olympics Lectures* set the 2012 London Olympic Games in their historical context. Building on its expertise and vision, Queen Mary will contribute to the making of the 2012 Olympic Games into a significant cultural experience. The London Games offer a unique opportunity to explore the human experiences and historical legacies of competitiveness and physical striving.

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*This is a Queen Mary event with no endorsement from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games committee.