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Capitalism, politics and the Olympics topics of lecture

Jule BoykoffJules Boykoff, chair of the Pacific University Department of Politics and Government, will present “On Celebration Capitalism” Tuesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room at Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

Boykoff, the author of “Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games,” will examine the history of the Olympic Games and a shift in ideology that has occurred. The Games were founded to promote peace through sport while toughening up young men for war, but have shifted to the political-economic model of today.

Boykoff offers a theory of “celebration capitalism,” a modern form of political economy that occurs in an exuberant “state of exception.” It is marked by mass-media-trumpeted political spectacle, festive commercialism, lopsided public-private partnerships, the feel-good claims of environmental sustainability and a boon for local police response for preventing terrorism and safeguarding the Games. Examining the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, 2012 London Summer Olympics and 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, he demonstrates how “celebration capitalism” takes on a distinct shape depending on national context.

Boykoff is also the author of the forthcoming book “Activism and the Olympics: Dissent at the Games in Vancouver and London.” His work about Olympic politics has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian and Dissent Magazine. Boykoff represented the United States Olympic soccer team in international competition in the early 1990s. He holds a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Portland, a master’s in teaching from Lewis & Clark College and a Ph.D. in political science from American University.

This event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Nicholson Library and the Program for Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement (PLACE) at Linfield, designed to encourage the exchange of ideas across disciplines, promote civic engagement and pique intellectual curiosity through the exploration of thematic connections. This year’s PLACE theme is focused on “The Legacies of War.” For more information, call 503-883-2759 or email tmertes@linfield.edu.