SPONSORED BY NORTHEASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY AND THE NEWBERRY LIBRARY
We are pleased to invite you to the Chicago Seminar on Sport and Culture at the Newberry Library, co-sponsored by Northeastern Illinois University and North Central College. All sessions begin at 3:30 PM. The lectures are open to the public at no charge. The Newberry Library is located at 60 W. Walton, Chicago, IL.
Building the Modern Body: Sports and the Self-Made Ideal in Modern Germany
Dept. of History,
University of Miami, Miami, OH
April 3, 2009
The Weimar Government produced a new and explicitly modern ideal of the human body, placing an imperative on the individual to engineer his/her body as an extension of a mature, industrial society. Athletes, more than anyone else, served as a model of precisely those qualities associated with modernity. The emphasis on measurement, record-keeping, and head-to-head rivalry in competitive sports pushed athletes to improve the outlet of lungs, heart, and biceps, just as the cutthroat economic climate demanded perpetual innovations in the business world. Sleek, taut, and rigorously engineered, the modern body established itself s the dominant ideal in Weimar Germany, stemming not just from the call for national rehabilitation, but form a perceived need to adapt corporeally to the dizzying social transformations as well.
Dr. Jensen received his Ph.D in modern German History from the University of Wisconsin in 2003. The title of his dissertation is “Images of the Ideal: Sports, Gender, and the Emergence of the Modern Body in Weimar Germany.” He received the Fritz Stern Award for the Outstanding Dissertation on Germany history produced by a North American university.
Northeastern Illinois University
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