The Children of the Cosmic Race: The Planning and Celebration of the 1968 Cultural Olympics in Mexico City
AdvisorBeezley, William H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 09/07/2020
AbstractIn his seminal 1925 essay, Mexican educator José Vasconcelos argued that his nation was a product of the biological and cultural union of the indigenous and the European after whom he named his work: the cosmic race (la raza cósmica). This idea became the backbone of national identity in the years to come, and it influenced art, education, and architecture in the country. A generation later, those who were born, received their educations, and began their professional lives in that cultural milieu planned the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City where they sought to put this vision of their identity and nation on display. As a part of this effort, the Organizing Committee of the XIX Olympiad held a yearlong festival called the Cultural Olympics that brought dancers, musicians, architects, artwork, and scientific exhibits to Mexico from around the world. The goal of the cultural program was to allow participants the opportunity to present their national histories, art, and research to a global audience in an atmosphere of cooperation and friendship. With these events, the planners sought to establish their contributions to the Olympic Movement as well as to the international community. Thus, understanding them offers a way to consider the lasting impact of Vasconcelos’s work and contextualize the legacies of the 1968 Games that occurred in a year fraught with political and social upheaval. My research focuses on archival and published sources such as the brochures, pamphlets, and reports produced by the Department of Artistic and Cultural Activities. I also utilized periodicals, published research, and an interview that capture the reactions of coordinators, participants and spectators.
Degree ProgramGraduate College