QU HOST LECTURE ON “ANCIENT GREEK ATHLETICS” WITH PROFESSOR FROM HARVARD

The Sport Science Program and the Department of English Literature and Linguistics (DELL) at the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Qatar University (QU), with the support of Qatar Museums Authority's (QMA) Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum (QOSM) hosted recently a lecture on Ancient Greek Athletics. The lecture is presented by Gregory Nagy, Director of Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies, and a renowned authority in the field of Homeric and related Greek studies.

Mr. Ioannis Papaioannou, Curator of Olympic and Sports History at Qatar Museums commenced the seminar by giving an overview of the QOSM project, which will soon open its doors and demonstrate to the world that sport and Qatar are intrinsically linked.

The museum will be a unique project, not only for Qatar but also for the entire region, in terms of the collections available, content development and the overall design. In addition to the development of the stadia and facilities in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the museum will offer a long-lasting legacy for the preservation of sport memory locally and internationally. Furthermore, the museum aims to educate local and international visitors on the civilizational and humanist dimension of sport, thereby inspiring generations to be part of the sporting experience.

Mr. Iohannis's presentation was followed by Dr. Kelli Wood, Consulting Curator on Olympic and Sports History at QOSM. Dr. Kelli presented early sport traditions as a product of cultural encounters between different civilizations, which will be one of the overarching themes of QOSM, bridging between the past, present and the future.

Dr. Kelli's presentation was followed by Professor Gregory Nagy who covered the main theme of the lecture, Athletics in Ancient Greece. Professor Gregory emphasized a number of concepts worth examining, such as athletics, which he suggests to be more inclusive than sport, at least in the way it is defined and implemented in today's world in the strict -business oriented- sense of competition and performance. For Professor Nagy, athletics is not only about body, spirit, achievement and glory, but also about joy and individual struggle for good.

The seminar concluded with a discussion coordinated by QU's Dr. Eirini Theodoropoulou, Department of English Literature and Linguistics at CAS on the significance and usefulness of some terms, prevalent in ancient Olympics and may have lost their sense in today's world, for example, 'olympic truce.' Through questions by members of the audience, the discussion moved towards reflection on how to deal with different connotations throughout history and the value of sports in different cultures.

Dr. Mahfoud Amara, Chair of the Sport Science Program at QU commented on the lecture saying, This kind of forum offers an interesting opportunity to strengthen the multidisciplinary research and study in the domain of sport in Qatar. Sport offers an interesting entry point to the study of classic history, cultural studies, literature and linguistics. Dr. Tariq Khwaileh, Chair of QU's Department of English Literature and Linguistics added, This type of event is important to further develop interdisciplinary research projects and learning opportunities for our students.

Source: Qatar University