NYU will host “The Global History of Sport in the Cold War,” a two-day conference featuring the New York Times’ George Vecsey, ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, and others, on Thurs., Oct. 23 and Fri., Oct. 24.

“The Global History of Sport in the Cold War” to Feature George Vecsey, Jeremy Schaap, and Others—Oct. 23-24
NYU's Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia will host “The Global History of Sport in the Cold War,” a two-day conference featuring the New York Times’ George Vecsey, ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, and others, on Thurs., Oct. 23 and Fri., Oct. 24. Pictured above is the Berlin Wall. (c)iStock/Nash1966

New York University’s Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia will host “The Global History of Sport in the Cold War,” a two-day conference featuring the New York Times’ George Vecsey, ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, and others, on Thurs., Oct. 23 and Fri., Oct. 24 at NYU’s School of Professional Studies, 7 East 12th Street, Room 321 (betw. 5th Avenue and University Place).

The conference, part of an ongoing project of the Global History of Sport in the Cold War, takes a new look the role of sport in the Cold War and scrutinizes the common narrative of East-West sporting tension in a global context.

The October event will present new analyses of the key state players, showcasing the latest documents emerging from the Russian State Archive of the Contemporary History and the secrets of the East German machine.

Moving beyond the traditional black and white narratives of East versus West, it will examine the role of the CIA as well as the KGB in Cold War sports and the relative degrees of latitude in the Soviet system when compared, for example, with East Germany.

It will also consider the use of performance-enhancing drugs as well as the significance of race and the twin engines of media and celebrity, which both fed and transcended the divide: how did Martina Navratilova and Katarina Witt, for example, succeed on the global stage, what hurdles did they have to cross, and were they seen differently in East and West?

The conference will also include a public forum, “Selling Sport in the Cold War,” on Fri., Oct. 23, 4:30-7 p.m. at NYU’s Casa Italiana, 24 West 12th Street (betw. 5th and 6th Avenues). It will feature New York Times columnist George Vecsey, ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, Amy Bass, a professor of history at the College of New Rochelle, and David McDonald, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin and the session’s discussant.

The conference is free and open to the public. An RSVP is required by calling 212.992.6575 or emailing jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu. Subway Lines: L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 (Union Square).

This event is made possible by the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, the NYU Department of History, the NYU Center for the United States and the Cold War, and the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business.

The Global History of Sport in the Cold War project is coordinated by UC San Diego, the University of Cambridge, UK, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington.

EDITOR’S NOTE
The NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia undertakes to make Russia intrinsic to all aspects of scholarly investigation: from politics to literature, economics to anthropology, history to visual culture. Joining the ranks of US and western universities with traditions of inquiry and expertise on matters Russian and Soviet, the Center is distinguished by its particular mission of situating Russia in a global context. We aim both to help educate Russia specialists on the interconnectedness of Russia with the world and to remind other fields of Russia’s ubiquity. While recognizing that any country is best understood as part of a global economy, culture, and politics, the Center works to ensure that Russia’s dramatic and enduring influence is an integral part of every conversation. For more, please visit http://jordanrussiacenter.org/.