This episode Conor Heffernan talks to Conor Murray about sport in Ireland in the twentieth century and the way in which the histories of soccer and rugby are entwined with political developments on the island of Ireland.
The history of Physical Culture this week with Dr Conor Heffernan of the University of Texas at Austin talking about his research into physical culture in Ireland in the twentieth century, as well as the history of weightlifting and the search for the 1000lb bench press.
There's chat about Sinn Fein's trash-talking of the English physique in the 1900s and an insight into the use of tennis balls and tight towels in power-lifting. You can also read his article on Irish body building at the excellent Playing Pasts website.
Fresh from two hours of document analysis with the students of the University of Westminster I was absolutely in the mood for the kind of exhibition that ‘Easter Rising 1916’ at the Photographers’ Gallery purports to be, especially as I’ve got an upcoming seminar to teach on British stereotypes of Irishmen in the nineteenth century.…