Inaugural Lecture by the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies, Lucia Trimbur

University of Helsinki Main Building, Aleksanterinkatu 5/Unioninkatu 34

You are warmly welcome to listen to the Inaugural Lecture by the 2023-24 Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies, Lucia Trimbur on the topic of “A Savage Monster”: Reflections on Politics and Sport in the United States”.

Time: Tuesday November 21, 2023 at 5 pm
Place: The University of Helsinki Main Building, 2nd floor, Runeberg Lecture Room, Aleksanterinkatu 5/Unioninkatu 34
Register by November 20:


Athletes have long been told that politics have no place in sport: In the 1930s, International Olympic Committee IOC head Avery Brundage famously argued that “sport and politics should be kept apart” while in 2019, journalist Laura Ingraham advised LeBron James to “shut up and dribble.” And yet sport has always been political and a site of social struggle. From the work of boxers and horse race trainers during 17th century plantation slavery to Colin Kaepernick’s famous kneel in 2016, some of the most innovative and incisive protests have come from athletes. This lecture analyzes the significance of recent political unrest in sport. Using the contemporary case of race correction in the National Football League’s Concussion Settlement, it argues that far from merely reflecting social relations and hierarchies of power, sport activism actively intervenes in and shapes the world.


Lucia Trimbur is the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies at the University of Helsinki and Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies at the City University of New York. Her research and teaching interests focus on the relationships among sport, protest, identity formation, and perceptions of racial, gender, and class difference.