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The Queen Mary Olympics Lectures 2010

The remarkable history of the Olympics will be revealed in a new lecture series, starting at Queen Mary, University of London on 9 February 2010.

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“The modern Olympics offer athletes an unprecedented chance to attain international fame, and host nations a unique platform to showcase themselves to the world,” explains the series organiser, Professor Miri Rubin, of the Department of History at Queen Mary.

“Our public lectures – which in 2010 include guest speakers specialising in cultural history, classics and political science - will illuminate key moments in the long history of the Olympic Games and attempt to convey the often dramatic economical, political, and cultural landscape behind them,” she adds.

The opening public lecture, given on 9 February, compares the first Games held in Ancient Greece to the forthcoming global spectacles of London 2012 and Rio 2016.

The second, on 23 February, discusses the impact of the three modern Olympics held in London since 1908 on British politics.

The series then looks at the Berlin Games of 1936 - an athletic showcase of growing Nazi power and propaganda – before concluding with a lecture on Munich 1972, staged with the aim of reflecting a new, democratic Germany to the world, but overshadowed by the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists.

“As one of London’s top educational institutions in a prime location so close to the Olympic Park, Queen Mary has an exciting opportunity to shape the character and legacy of the event,” says Professor Rubin.

“The lecture series mark only the start of a programme of Olympic-themed events to be staged at the College in the run-up to the London 2012 Games,” she adds.

Queen Mary scholars are also producing a series of films, performances and seminars in 2011 and 2012, outlining the links between sport and health; religious traditions and physical discipline, the cohesive role of sport in communities, and much more.

The Queen Mary Olympics Lectures 2010

Tuesday 9 February 2010, 6.30pm

'Back to the Future; Flying Down to Rio via London and Ancient


Professor Paul Cartledge, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture,

University of Cambridge

Venue: Mason Lecture Theatre, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End.


Tuesday 23 February 2010, 6.30pm

'The Politics of the London Olympic Games: 1908, 1948, 2012'

Dr David Runciman, Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, University of


Venue: Skeel Lecture Theatre, People's Palace, Mile End.


Tuesday 9 March 2010, 6.30pm

'German Bodies and the Olympics of 1936'

Professor Marion Kant, Senior Lecturer in Theatre Arts, University of


Venue: Skeel Lecture Theatre, People's Palace, Mile End.


Tuesday 20 April 2010, 6.30pm

'The 1972 Munich Olympics; Overcoming the German Past'

Professor Christopher Young, Head of Department of German and Dutch,

University of Cambridge

Venue: Skeel Lecture Theatre, People's Palace, Mile End.