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An Olympics for the Savages: Science, Sport, and Race at the 1904 World’s Fair and Olympic Games

Thursday, November 15, 2012 @ 7:00 PM-8:30 PM

Perspectives on Science & History Series

— lecture and book signing, The 1904 Anthropology Days and Olympic Games: Sport, Race, and American Imperialism

Featured Speaker: Susan Brownell, Ph.D.,author and Professor of Anthropology, University of Missouri – St. Louis

Susan Brownell, professor of anthropology at the University of Missouri St. Louis and editor of The 1904 Anthropology Days and Olympic Games, takes a fascinating look through the lens of sport at the bad science of race that justified the “Anthropology Days,” experiment in which “savages” took part in sports so their performances could be compared with those of the athletes at the 1904 World’s Fair and Olympic Games. And she asks whether or not those perceptions continue to inform today’s modern Olympic competitions.

Books available for purchase and signing following the talk.

Start of the 1904 Olympic Marathon. Frank Pierce, a Comanche representing the New York Pastime Athletic Club, wears number nine. From Mark Bennitt and Frank Parker Stockbridge, eds. History of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis: Universal Exposition Publishing Company, 1905), p. 565.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Our Olympics on display at the Missouri History Museum through November 18, 2012.

To be held at:

Missouri History Museum – Lee Auditorium
Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park
St. Louis, Missouri 63112

Registration not required. FREE and OPEN to ALL. Middle and high school students welcome. Parking free in Museum lots or in Forest Park.

Presented in partnership with:


Thursday, November 15, 2012
7:00 PM-8:30 PM
Event Category: