Sports, Society, and Culture

Language and Athletics: The Many Discourses of Sport

Eighth International Scholars’ Symposium
Ancient Olympia, Greece
Program Dates: July 10–July 14, 2019
Appplication Deadline: May 12, 2019
Recommendation Deadline: May 15, 2019

The application is now closed.

The International Olympic Academy (IOA), in cooperation with Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC, and with the support of Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece, is organizing the Eighth International Scholars’ Symposium in the “Sports, Society, and Culture” series in Ancient Olympia, July 10–14, 2019. As in previous years, the Symposium will host scholars from around the world and bring together students and faculty from Universities in Greece and abroad.


Building on comparative aspects of earlier themes in the series, the topic of the 2019 Symposium is “Language and Athletics: The Many Discourses of Sport.” As part of the international scholarly exchange on sports, society and politics, the 2019 meeting of the IOA/CHS Symposium examines the multiplicity of discourses pertaining to language and athletics. By exploring the verbal and non-verbal articulation of Olympic contexts, this year's conference brings to Olympia an academic gathering designed to shed new light on the dialogue between the ancient and modern Olympics.


In addition to lectures, the Symposium places emphasis on the blended learning approach. Students will have access to a list of core readings in advance of the Symposium. Presentations will be followed by workshops during which the students will have the opportunity to discuss the readings and reflect on the themes of the presentations in small groups. Click here to view the Symposium’s program and abstracts of presentations.


This year’s Symposium speakers will include Gregory Nagy (Harvard University and CHS Harvard), Charles Stocking (University of Western Ontario and CHS Harvard), Stamatia Dova (Hellenic College and CHS Harvard), Maša Culumovic (CHS Harvard), Damian Stocking (Occidental College), and Michael Joseph Gross (Vanity Fair).


The Symposium is open to up to 65 undergraduate students who are in their junior year of studies (3rd year and above), as well as postgraduate students (Masters students and PhD candidates) from departments which span the disciplines of Sport Sciences, Humanities and Political Sciences in Greece and abroad.

Priority will be given to first-time participants.

Participation and Logistics

The International Olympic Academy will facilitate the transportation of the participants by bus from Athens to Olympia.

Accommodation (double room) and meals (breakfast and lunch on the IOA premises) will also be offered by the International Olympic Academy.

The IOA and the CHS do not cover airfare and other incidental expenses associated with the presence and participation in the symposium, beyond those described above.

This is a non-fee-based event, and the participants will be awarded certificates of attendance during the closing ceremony of the Symposium. 

View Past Symposia here.

2019 Application

The application for the Symposium is now closed and the application deadline was Sunday, May 12, 2019, midnight (Eastern European Summer Time). The Symposium is addressed to students from departments which span the disciplines of Sport Sciences, Humanities and Political Sciences in Greece and abroad. Selected participants will be notified via e-mail in early June.

2019 Call for papers

The IOA and the CHS address an open call for papers to young researchers who wish to present their work at the 2019 Symposium. Postgraduate students (Masters students and PhD candidates) are invited to submit abstracts on this year's topic "Language and Athletics: The Many Discourses of Sport" for participation in a graduate student panel. The evaluation will be made by the Symposium's Academic Committee and the participants/guest presenters will be notified via e-mail by mid-June.


For additional information please contact Ms. Marilena Katsadoraki, IOA Sessions' Coordinator, by telephone (+30 210 6878810, Athens, Greece) and/or email m.katsadoraki(at), and/or Ms. Christina Lafi, CHS GR Projects and Content Development Manager, by telephone (+30 27520 47030, Nafplio, Greece) and/or email clafi(at)