The book selection is hardly random. As most fútbologists and many fans know, the FIFA special presidential election is scheduled to take place on February 26 in Zurich. The culture of corruption in world football unearthed by the investigative reporting of Blake and Calvert raises many troubling questions about football governance and the potential for meaningful institutional reforms in a post-Blatter FIFA.
To join the online conversation, please email Alex Galarza (galarza DOT alex AT gmail) and provide your Skype username if participating for the first time.
On December 1, the Football Scholars Forum held its final session of the year. A variety of essays, articles, blog posts, match ethnographies, and reports formed the basis for an excellent discussion about the impact and aftermath of the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
The fútbologists reflected, among other topics, on media coverage and scholarly writing about the tournament; gender discrimination and the need for reform and greater funding of women’s football at FIFA and national FA levels; grassroots development and market forces; and the quality of play at the matches in Canada. Partially reflecting the participants’ interests and experiences, an important portion of the conversation centered on the women’s game in Latin America and on the effect of global inequalities.
Participants: Shireen Ahmed, Jean Williams, Brenda Elsey, Alex Galarza, Andrew Guest, Chris Brown, Danyel Reiche, Gaby Garton, Jennifer Schaefer, Josh Nadel, Martha Saavedra, Melissa Forbis, Sean Jacobs, and Peter Alegi.
Our reading list for the session can be found here and an audio recording of the session is available here.
In the final session before taking a much-deserved mid-season holiday break, the Football Scholars Forum will discuss the impact and aftermath of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. The session is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, December 1, at 1:45pm Eastern U.S. Time (-5 GMT).
The online discussion is set to include many of the writers and scholars who expertly contributed to international media coverage of the tournament.
As is traditional with FSF, a common set of readings (and a video lecture!) will help spark and sustain conversation on a number of topics and questions related to the WWC: from FIFA, plastic pitches, and global inequalities to match ethnographies, the first U.S. victory in 16 years, and what’s in store for women’s football in the years to come.
Please RSVP to Alex Galarza (galarza DOT alex AT gmail) and provide your Skype username if participating for the first time. Follow the convo on Twitter via the hashtag #FSFWWC15
Jean Williams, “Women and Soccer: Research Agendas and Policy Debates,” plenary lecture at The Futures of Women’s Soccer Symposium, Duke University Forum for Scholars and Publics, April 10, 2015 [watch]
Series Upfront & Onside/SI.com Throughout the Women’s World Cup an array of accomplished writers and scholars filed regularly from Canada with an eye on bringing a wide-ranging scope to the 2015 tournament. The cast of writers featured many Football Scholars Forum members, including: Laurent Dubois, Jean Williams, Brenda Elsey, Jennifer Doyle, Shireen Ahmed, Joshua Nadel and Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff.
Co-founder Alex Galarza featured in FSF’s second session of the 2015/2016 season. Alex shared the first chapter from his dissertation, “Dreaming of Sports City: Consumption, Urban Transformation, and Soccer Clubs in Buenos Aires.” Participants also watched a trailer for his collaboratively-produced documentary and (click to view) read a blog post on his broader project.
A number of questions focused on the broader connections that Alex’s research may shed on soccer in other Latin American cities, modernization and state formation, and notions of race, whiteness, and gender. The author and participants also discussed the politics of club governance and the project’s methodology.
Participants included: Andrew Guest, Brenda Elsey, Chris Brown, Chris Henderson, Christoph Wagner, Daniel Makagon, Danyel Reiche, Edward Murphy, Matt Hawkins, Martha Saavedra, Melissa Forbis, Javier Pescador, Alex Galarza, and Peter Alegi.
On Thursday, November 12, at 3pm U.S. Eastern Time (-5 GMT), FSF co-founder Alex Galarza will discuss “Dreaming of Sports City: Consumption, Urban Transformation, and Soccer Clubs in Buenos Aires,” a chapter from his PhD dissertation in the History Department at Michigan State University. His advisor is Dr. Edward Murphy.
Galarza’s research in Buenos Aires was funded by Fulbright-IIE and FIFA Havelange scholarships. While in Argentina, he began working with Argentine journalists on a documentary film about the Ciudad Deportiva. As part of a Kickstarter campaign, the project produced a concise overview and trailer for the film (click to view).
Galarza has blogged about his doctoral research and the documentary on FSF member Manu Veth’s blog, Futebolcidade.com. The trailer and blog provide useful context on the research and help disseminate scholarly work beyond typical academic channels.
Please RSVP to galarza DOT alex AT gmail DOT com and send your Skype information if we don’t already have it.
Christoph Wagner got the 2015/2015 season underway on Wednesday, October 14, with ten members on three continents discussing his DeMontfort University doctoral thesis entitled “Crossing The Line: The English Press and Anglo-German Football, 1954-1996.”
A number of points engaged with the rich detail Christoph provided in his thorough investigation of representations of Germany and Germans in the English press. Among the issues raised were the militarization of language in football press coverage; narratives of English decline; national stereotypes; media ownership, and xenophobia. The conversation also grappled with the study’s methodology and sources, how oral histories might have added to the analysis, and insights that could be gleaned from new and social media in contemporary times.
Participants included: Andrew Guest, Chris Brown, Chris Henderson, Danyel Reiche, Derek Catsam, Hikabwa Chipande, Steven Apostolov, Alex Galarza, and Peter Alegi.
The 2015-16 season of the Football Scholars Forum opens on Wednesday, October 14, at 2pm EST. Historian Christoph Wagner joins us to discuss his freshly completed DeMontfort University PhD thesis entitled: “Crossing The Line: The English Press and Anglo-German Football, 1954-1996.”
This meticulously researched, intriguing history focuses on representations of Germany and Germans in the sports pages of English newspapers from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s. It explores the role of national stereotyping and analyzes shifting UK press attitudes towards Germany within a changing historical context.
This is the first time FSF engages with a doctoral dissertation so we’re excited to be making a little history ourselves. We also encourage you to visit Christoph’s blog: An Old International: Football, Culture, History. Follow him on Twitter @wagnerc23. He can also be reached by email: christoph(at)anoldinternational.co.uk
Please send an RSVP to Alex Galarza (galarza.alex AT gmail) to be included in the Skype call.
An impromptu FSF session took place on June 4 to discuss the impact and aftermath of Sepp Blatter’s announcement of his impending resignation as president of FIFA just four days after being reelected to a fifth term.
What are fútbologists saying and thinking about in relation to Blatter and the larger FIFA bribery and corruption scandal? Discussion topics ranged from institutional reform, global media coverage, and the role of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean in the crisis to what may (or may not) happen at the world body in the coming months.
Participants: Chris Bolsmann, David Kilpatrick, Simon Kuper, Marcela Mora y Araujo, Dan Evans, Matt Hawkins, Rwany Sibaja, Steven Apostolov, Martha Saavedra, Agbenyega Tony Adedze, Chris Henderson, Alex Galarza, and Peter Alegi.
On March 26, Hikabwa Decius Chipande discussed a paper titled “Mining for Goals: Football and Social Change on the Zambian Copperbelt, 1940s to 1960s.” This study is part of Chipande’s doctoral dissertation at Michigan State University, which received research funding from the FIFA João Havelange Scholarship.
Among the topics of discussion were the changing structure of clubs on the Copperbelt; the place of sport in Africanist scholarship; situating Zambia in broader south-central and even southern African histories; fan culture; and using press sources and oral interviewing to represent multiple local voices and perspectives on the past.
Participants: Martha Saavedra, Andrew Guest, Chris Brown, Chris Henderson, Danyel Reiche, Sean Jacobs, Liz Timbs, Alex Galarza, and Peter Alegi
Join us on Thursday, March 26, at 3pm EDT for a session on football in Zambia. FSF member Hikabwa Decius Chipande will discuss his paper “Mining for Goals: Football and Social Change on the Zambian Copperbelt, 1940s to 1960s.”
Chipande is a doctoral candidate working with Peter Alegi in the Department of History at Michigan State University. His paper is the result of recent archival research and fieldwork in Zambia, which was funded by a FIFA João Havelange Scholarship.
(The paper was available for download by all confirmed participants.) Please note that the author asks readers not to quote from the paper without permission and not to circulate it beyond FSF circles.