June 21, 2022

Dorothée Imbert Publishes Essay on Landscape Architecture, Sport, and Politics

The Knowlton School director’s essay examines the creation of Parc des sports and Collège d’athlètes in Reims in the early twentieth century.

Knowlton School Director Dorothée Imbert has published “Landscape, Body, and Politics in France, 1900–1940: The Case of the Parc des sports and Collège d’athlètes in Reims,” in Landscapes for Sport: Histories of Physical Exercise, Sport, and Health, edited by Sonja Dümpelmann and published as part of Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture through Harvard University Press.

Landscape architects played a significant, if largely unacknowledged, role in the dissemination of physical exercise in France during the first half of the twentieth century, as sport parks, fields, and tracks contributed to the development of the individual body and the body politic. Fitness and athleticism were seen as indices of a healthy, superior, and powerful nation, and France took great pains to improve its image at home and on the international scene. The rhetoric of “race” and latinité, central to the Belle  Époque, structured much of the discourse on how to shape bodies and whose bodies should be shaped.

“Landscape, Body, and Politics in France, 1900–1940: The Case of the Parc des sports and Collège d’athlètes in Reims”
Dorothée Imbert

Read more at Harvard University Press