A Historian at the Crossroads of History

A Historian at the Crossroads of History

In early September 2012, Dr. Paul Dimeo, arrived at the Stark Center on the University of Texas campus.  Dimeo, a professor and sport historian from the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland, has been visiting UT as a Fulbright Scholar, and he has been using the archives available at the Stark Center and surrounding areas.

“I wanted to come [to Texas] specifically because I had already been working with Dr. Hunt…It’s also the kind of information and archives that are available here [at the Stark Center],” said Dimeo.  “It’s probably the best anywhere for what I’m interested in doing.”

Dimeo began the application process for the Fulbright Scholar over 18 months ago.  The scholarship has funded his research project entitled, ‘The Doping of Elite Athletes in International Sport and the Politics of the Cold War, 1950-1990’, which he has been working on during his three-month Fulbright term at the University of Texas at Austin.  So far, with the assistance of Dr. Thomas Hunt, Dr. Matthew Bowers and Ph.D. student Scott Jedlicka, Dr. Dimeo has produced two articles in relation to his research topic, which have been submitted to various academic journals.

“Paul is one of the world’s leading experts on the culture and politics of doping,” said Hunt.  “It was a natural fit for him to come here…We have a unique archive access here on campus to the former East German documents.  We gained some new political insights about the Stasi doping system in East Germany.”

Dimeo says that if he had not been named a Fulbright Scholar, his research project would have to have been postponed.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do the more historical research on the Cold War, East Germany and what was happening at the same time in North America without coming to the Stark Center,” said Dimeo.  “It’s a really unique place, and if I hadn’t won Fulbright I would have been doing some other projects.  I really needed a stretch of time here, just to get to know what was in the archives and what else was available.”

Dimeo will be sharing his findings, as well as his entire Fulbright experience, during a special presentation at the Stark Center on December 7 at 2:00 p.m.  The lecture is open to the public, but if you are interested, please contact the Stark Center at (512) 471-4890 to reserve a seat.

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