Nationalization and Globalization in Competition: The 1992 Olympics and the New Europe

Friday, October 7, 2022

12:30 pm — 2:00 pm

Online

Internal Event

Leslie Waters joins the CUNY REEES Kruzhok to share new research on the role of the 1992 Olympics in the political reorientation of Europe.

National Olympic Team of Bosnia-Herzegovina marches at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona after receiving emergency recognition from the International Olympic Committee
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Free

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The 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, were uniquely positioned to symbolically redefine the European continent. In the lead up to the games, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, wars of Yugoslav succession, Czechoslovak “velvet divorce,” German unification, and signing of the Treaty on European Union meant that the familiar post-World War II geopolitical order was over. Post-socialist states, especially those that had recently declared their independence, tried to use the Barcelona Games as an opportunity to make their case to be included in a new Europe. Meanwhile, the nascent European Union promoted a supranational version of Europeanness and the host city emphasized a “Europe of Regions” rather than one of nation states. This presentation examines competing conceptualizations of Europe in the 1990s through the lens of the Barcelona Olympic Games.

Dr. Leslie Waters is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas at El Paso. She received her Ph.D. in History from UCLA in 2012. Her work focuses on the social and political impact of border changes, and her first book, Borders on the Move: Territorial Change and Ethnic Cleansing in the Hungarian-Slovak Borderland was published in 2020 by University of Rochester Press. Her current project investigates the role of the 1992 Olympics in the political reorientation of Europe: recognizing new states, legitimizing the nascent European Union, and opening avenues for the integration of post-socialist states with western Europe.