IMRRC Partnering with SAH for Motorsports Symposium Nov. 9-11
Women in racing and the resurgence of drag racing in Cuba are among the topics that will be discussed during an academic symposium on motorsports presented in November by the International Motor Racing Research Center and the Society of Automotive Historians.
The third annual Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History will be Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 9-11. This year’s theme is “The First Turn Meets the Cultural Turn.” A detailed schedule can be seen here. All sessions are open to the public, and pre-registration is not required. All events are free.
This international academic forum offers graduate students, professors and historians an opportunity to present on any subject reflecting the rich cultural history of motor racing.
Joan Cuneo, the first female racer in the United States, who competed in the early 1900s, will be the subject of the keynote address on Saturday, Nov. 11, by Dr. Elsa Nystrom, professor emeritus of history in the American Studies Department at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Ga. Nystrom is the author of the book “Mad for Speed: The Racing Life of Joan Newton Cuneo.”
Three additional presentations will focus on women in racing.
The showing of the 2015 documentary “Havana Motor Club,” covering the resurgence of drag racing in Cuba, also is a featured component of this year’s symposium. The screening will be on Thursday evening, Nov. 9, followed on Friday, Nov. 10, with the presentation “Primer Plano Cubano de la Carrera de la Calle – Cuban Street Racing Closeup: A Critical Analysis of the Documentary Movie ‘Havana Motor Club’.”
“Havana Motor Club” will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Racing Research Center. Friday morning’s presentation about the film and a second set of presentations in the afternoon will be at the Watkins Glen International Media Center. Saturday’s presentations will be at the Center.
All are free and open to the public.
Don Capps, chairman of the SAH International Motor Sports History Section, said this type of academic symposium, with a rich trove of topics to explore under the theme “The First Turn Meets the Cultural Turn,” is needed and valuable.
“That motorsport history is a nuanced, complex topic reaching far beyond such items as race data and tales about personalities and events is beginning to finally be understood,” Capps said. “That the cultural aspects of motorsport are now finally being brought into focus and discussed is, in great part, thanks to those who have participated in our previous symposiums. The door is now cracked a bit wider for those in academia and for independent scholars to explore this topic in great depth.”
Other presentation topics:
- “Cultural Confusions: Maserati Serial Numbers”
- “Invaders and Invasions: The 1963 Motor Trend 500 at Riverside”
- “It is Alive! Monster Energy’s Attempt to Revitalize NASCAR’s Top Touring Series”
- “Win on Sunday & Sell Fifty Years Later: The Strange Competitive and Commercial Saga of Bentley”
- “A Moving Museum”: Tourism, Pilgrimage, and the Iconic Route of the Mille Miglia”
- “Anne Cecile Rose-Itier, Overcoming Gender Barriers and Earning Legitimacy by Competing and Winning”
- “Speeding through a Man’s World: Women Sports Car Racers in the 1950s and 1960s”
- “Women in Racing”
The keynote address on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. and the three additional presentations on women racers that follow it will be live-streamed at www.youtube.com/user/IMRRC/live or via the Center’s website at www.racingarchives.org/stream/. The talk also will be archived on the Center’s You Tube channel.
Pat Yongue, retired professor from the University of Houston English Department and an expert on women in racing, will be the symposium moderator. Yongue is a member of the SAH International Motor Sports History Section, which is partnering with the Racing Research Center.
The symposium debuted in 2015 and originally was named in honor of the late Jean S. Argetsinger, who was present with her husband, Cameron, when he revived road racing in America after World War II and later brought the United States Grand Prix for a successful 20-year run at Watkins Glen. Jean was a founder of the Racing Research Center.
At her request, the symposium is re-named beginning this year in honor of her deceased son Michael R. Argetsinger, an award-winning motorsports author and a longtime member of the Racing Research Center’s Governing Council.
Among the supporters of the annual symposium is the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, which provides financial assistance.
Racing Research Center collections encompass race series and racing venues worldwide. The Center is the repository for several organizational archives, including the Road Racing Drivers Club. The Center owns the archives of National Speed Sport News and the archives of John Bishop, co-founder of IMSA, and manages the Sports Car Club of America national archives.
The international Society of Automotive Historians encourages research into any aspect of automotive history. The SAH actively supports the compilation and preservation of papers, organizational records, print ephemera and images to safeguard, broaden and deepen the understanding of motorized, wheeled land transportation through the modern age and into the future.
For more information about the SAH, visit the website www.autohistory.org.