What Are the Olympics For? Q&A with Jules Boykoff on June 8

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What Are the Olympics For? Q&A with Jules Boykoff on June 8
Huge thanks to the Goldwyn Hollywood Regional Library for hosting us

The Olympics are at an inflection point: producing megaevents has become increasingly difficult in our current geopolitical reality, the 129-year-old games are struggling to attract new fans, and more cities are telling the IOC to stay out of town. Except Los Angeles, of course, which will host the Summer Olympics for the third time in 2028, a year that may very well prove to be the most pivotal moment in the institution's history.

Join author and Olympic scholar Jules Boykoff and Torched's Alissa Walker for a spirited conversation about Boykoff's most recent book What Are the Olympics For? (Bristol University Press, 2024) and what this all means for LA. Widely recognized as "the world's leading authority on the Olympic movement," Boykoff's writing on the politics of the games was once described by Mike Davis as "pathbreaking history."

Read Boykoff's most recent piece, co-authored with Dave Zirin in The Nation: "The 2024 Olympics Are Already Dealing With Multiple Political Crises."

Saturday, June 8
4:00 to 5:15 p.m.

Los Angeles Public Library Goldwyn Hollywood Regional Branch
1623 Ivar Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

RSVP here and share the flyer on Instagram. Here's the official LAPL listing to share as well and you can explore Boykoff's books in the LAPL collection with your library card.

Jules and Alissa will be introduced by Rachel Reyes, co-host of LA Podcast and a member of NOlympics LA.

Jules Boykoff is the author of six books on the politics of the Olympics including NOlympians: Inside the Fight Against Capitalist Mega-Sport in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Beyond (Fernwood, 2020), and Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics (Verso, 2016). He has written on the Olympic Games for popular publications like the New York TimesThe Guardian, the Los Angeles TimesAsahi Shimbun, and Folha de São Paulo, and for academic journals, such as Sociology of Sport Journal, the International Journal of the History of Sport, and the Connecticut Journal of International Law. Boykoff lived in England before and during the 2012 London Olympics and was a Fulbright research fellow in Brazil before and during the 2016 Summer Games. He has lectured on the Olympics around the world, from Tokyo to Paris to Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles. He teaches political science at Pacific University in Oregon.

Alissa Walker is a writer based in Los Angeles where she has covered transportation, housing, urban design, public space, and environmental policy for two decades. She is the co-host of LA Podcast and writes the newsletter Torched, which tracks the legacy improvements that LA is making for the 2028 Summer Olympics. Alissa is the 2021 recipient of the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary for her writing on design and urbanism, and played herself on the traffic safety episode of Adam Conover’s show Adam Ruins Everything, “Adam Ruins a Murder.” She lives in Historic Filipinotown where she is an avid ice cream consumer and a mom to the city's two most enthusiastic public transit riders.

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