New Research Project "The global history of sport in the Cold War"

In association with the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, a new collaborative project has been launched on the cultural, social and political significance of sport between the end of World War II and the fall of Communism.

Via a series of workshops and meetings, which will run between 2014 and 2016, the project aims to produce an edited volume, a series of journal special issues, a special edition of the Cold War International History Project Bulletin featuring primary documents in English translation, and a Critical Oral History Conference on the 1980 and 1984 Olympics. Prospective hosts include: the Jordan Center for Advanced Russian Studies, New York University, the German Historical Institute in Moscow, the Centre for Contemporary Historical Research (Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung) in Potsdam, and the University of Cambridge.

Sport during the Cold War was uniquely positioned between high politics, diplomacy and popular culture. It offers an ideal prism onto issues of hard and soft power and the ways in which body culture and the media interacted at times of ideological tension. It was also a truly global phenomenon, bringing Africa, Asia, and Latin America onto the same stage as the superpowers and their European surrogates. This project seeks to illuminate all realms and aspects of sport in the Cold War, from its beginning up to 1991 and including its long aftermath. We are particularly interested in hearing from colleagues, young and old, who are working with new primary sources.

If you would like to present a workshop paper or be otherwise considered for inclusion in the project, please contact Christopher Young, by 1 December, at:, sending: (1) 200-300 words outlining your area of interest; (2) a separate brief description of the sources you are using; (3) a CV.

Project directors: Robert Edelman (University of California, San Diego); Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington); Christopher Young (University of Cambridge, UK).

Steering committee: Jutta Braun (Zentrum deutsche Sportgeschichte / Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, Potsdam); James Hershberg (George Washington University); Vince Hunt (Smooth Operations Radio); Yanni Kotsonis (New York University); Nikolaus Katzer (German Historical Institute, Moscow); James Person (Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington), Sergey Radchenko (University of Nottingham, Ningbo campus) and Mikhail Prozumenshikov (Russian State Archive of Contemporary History).