This is a video documentation of a UCL Lunchtime Lecture given by Dr Alan Latham, Senior Lecturer, UCL Department of Geography, on 21 October 2008. I am grateful to UCL Lunchtime Lectures for allowing us to republish the video here as part of our showreel for #r3fest RUN RUN RUN: A FESTIVAL OF RUNNING 2014 June 2014. In Dr Latham's words, as published on the original UCL Lunchtime website:
"In June 2007, soon after the election of the French president Nicolas Sarkozy, a debate broke out in the French media about their new president's jogging habit. “Western civilization” the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut claimed on national television “in its best sense, was born with the promenade. Walking is a sensitive, spiritual act.” In contrast “Jogging is management of the body. The jogger says I am in control. It has nothing to do with meditation.” In a similar vein the daily newspaper Libération wondered “Le jogging est-il de droite?” (Is jogging right wing?). And beneath a photograph of a muscular, shirtless, iPod wearing jogger it asked rhetorically, “Qui va croire que ce grand garçon vote LCR?” (Who believes that this big boy votes LCR?). Curiously, the emergence of jogging as a mass fitness activity in the 1960s and 1970s was closely associated with its ability to engender all sorts of new ways of thinking. This lecture explores this relationship between physical activity and thought."
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