Skip to main content

Past Events

2018-19 EDUCATIONAL SERIES

A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES: EXAMINING THE OLYMPICS FROM DIVERSE ANGLES

In 1968, the Olympic Games were held in Mexico City and those were the first games awarded to a country in Latin America. The games were preceded by protests by Mexican college students opposed by their government’s expenditures to host the games despite the country’s other pressing needs.

Later, the world watched as American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith, who placed first and third in the 200 meters, took a stand for justice as they raised their black-gloved fists skyward when they were presented their medals during the playing of the United States’ national anthem. Both sprinters were proteges of Harry Edwards, a sociology professor at San Jose State University, and members of the SJSU “Speed City” track team. In addition, Peter Norman of Australia, who placed second in that famous race, wore an “Olympic Project for Human Rights” button in support of the movement for justice.

With the 50th anniversary of that iconic moment as the catalyst, the Sports and Society Initiative invites you to attend a series of provocative, educational and entertaining events all related to some aspect of the Olympic Games and their relationship with society at large.

From film screenings to panel discussions to presentations by scholars and authors, these special events will examine a broad range of topics and illuminate the ways in which the Olympics offer valuable insights into culture, politics, social justice, race, gender, religion and more.

Please join us for any and all of the following programs. All events are free and open to the public, including Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff.

This series is sponsored by the Office of Community, Neighborhood and Government Relations, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt, the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities and Vanderbilt Athletics.

VISIT THE SPORTS AND SOCIETY INITIATIVE RESEARCH GUIDE >>