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The Sovereign Colony: How the Olympic Movement Helps Us Understand Puerto Rico - LIB 100/201 APPROVED!

Date and Time

Monday, September 30, 2019
3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Location

  • Mary Idema Pew Library

Description

Students will develop a greater understanding with the complexities of Puerto Rican politics and identity. Puerto Ricans are by law U.S. citizens, and by culture, history, and traditions Caribbean and Latin American. While the United States has politically intervened and occupied other Latin American countries, only Puerto Rico has experienced a sustained colonial relation since 1898. Students who attend the presentation will become familiar with the political, economic, and social crises the island has experienced, in particular since 2016. Puerto Rico is unique as one of a handful of colonies that has managed to become an Olympic nation despite not having political sovereignty. Much of the discussion will center on the Olympic movement. Students will learn how Puerto Ricans navigated the politics of empire and international diplomacy to negotiate their Olympic nationhood. In this way, Puerto Ricans offer an example of a way in which a peripheral society managed to negotiate the boundaries of empire, test the limits of nation and Olympism, and assert their place in the international scene. Despite Puerto Rico’s coloniality, the Olympic Movement has given Puerto Ricans the best tool to nurture and fuel feelings of national identity and has become a critical issue in the discussion about Puerto Rico’s political future.

The talk should be useful for students wanting to know more about Puerto Rico, especially given the events over the summer when popular protests forced the resignation of the island’s governor.

 

Contact

Area and Global Studies Department

616-331-8110

ags@gvsu.edu

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