Thinking Fandom

Book cover

Andrew Guest, professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Portland, took the stage at the Football Scholars Forum on March 3, 2022, for a brilliant session devoted to his new book, Soccer in Mind: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to the Global Game.

Participants included: Chuck Carlson, Andrew Lee, Jeffrey Organ, Martha Saavedra, Adam Winkel, and Peter Alegi.

Listen to our conversation on the social science of soccer below (for personal/educational use only):

Egypt’s Football Revolution

book cover

FSF’s final session before the winter break took place on December 13, 2021. It featured Carl Rommel and a discussion of his new book, Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity, and Uneasy Politics (University of Texas Press).

In addition to the author, participants included:

Abraham Seda, Andrew Guest, Brian Bunk, Derek Goncalves, Enrico Castro Montes, Frank Dell’Apa, Karl Zoller, Ryan Turcott, Tarminder Kaur, Tonunbo Ojo, Alon Raab, and Peter Alegi.

Listen to an audio recording of the session below (for personal/education use only).

Our next gathering is on March 3, 2022 (3pm US ET, 8pm UK) with Andrew Guest and his book, Soccer in Mind: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to the Global Game. Use Promo Code RFLR19 on the publisher’s website for a 30% discount.

Contact Peter Alegi (alegi AT msu DOT edu) to participate via Zoom. Happy Holidays!

Early US Soccer

On November 11, 2021, we welcomed historian and author Brian Bunk for a lively discussion of his new book, From Football to Soccer: The Early History of the Beautiful Game in the United States.

Participants included: Declan Abernethy, Matthew Brown, Chuck Carlson, Itamar Dubinsky, Andrew Guest, Pat Brown, Andrew Guest, Christian Hesle, David Kilpatrick, Tom Langton, Andrew Lee, Tom McCabe,Jeffrey Organ, Stefan Szymanski, Adam Winkel, and Peter Alegi.

Our next session is scheduled for December 13, 2021 (2pm US ET), featuring Carl Rommel’s book, Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity, and Uneasy Politics.

Contact Peter Alegi (alegi AT msu DOT edu) to participate via Zoom.

Listen to the audio recording of the session with Brian Bunk (for personal/educational use only):

The Barcelona Complex with Simon Kuper

Book cover image of Kuper's book, The Bacelona Complex

We opened the 2021-22 season with Simon Kuper and his new book, The Barcelona Complex: Lionel Messi and the Making—and Unmaking—of the World’s Greatest Soccer Club. 17 participants joined the author for 90 minutes of engaging conversation.

The discussion explored a variety of topics, including: modes of writing, Kuper’s positionality, and the intended audience for the book; Barcelona’s structure and identity; playing style and talent development at La Masia; Cruyff and Messi’s massive influence on the club; the role of Barca women; and club’s dire economic situation today.

Listen to the audio recording:

Our next session is scheduled for November 11 with Brian Bunk and his new book, From Football to Soccer: The Early History of the Beautiful Game in the United States.

Contact Peter Alegi (alegi AT msu DOT edu) to participate via Zoom.

FSF 2021-22 Schedule

  • October 5, 2021 (3pm US ET): Simon Kuper, The Barcelona Complex: Lionel Messi and the Making—and Unmaking—of the World’s Greatest Soccer Club [link]

  • November 11, 2021 (2:30pm US ET): Brian Bunk, From Football to Soccer: The Early History of the Beautiful Game in the United States [link]

  • December 13, 2021 (2pm US ET): Carl Rommel, Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity, and Uneasy Politics [link]

  • March 2, 2022 (3pm US ET): Andrew Guest, Soccer in Mind: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to the Global Game [link]

  • April 2022: Roundtable on the Qatar World Cup

Zoom invitations will be made available one week prior to the event.

For more information, email Peter Alegi (alegi AT msu DOT edu).

Corinthians and World Soccer

Book cover

The 2020-21 season closed on June 8 as Chris Bolsmann and Dil Porter joined us for a discussion of their book, English Gentlemen and World Soccer: Corinthians, Amateurism and the Global Game.

Participants included: Gabe Logan, Matthew Brown, Stefan Szymanski, Andrew Lee, Martha Saavedra, Titi Kou, Chuck Carlson, Jon Dart, Andrew Guest, David Kilpatrick, Rwany Sibaja, Brian Bunk, Enrico Castro Montes, and Peter Alegi.

Listen to the audio recording of the session (for personal/educational use only):

Enjoy the Euros and see you in early October for the opening of the 2021-22 season, featuring Simon Kuper and his new book, The Barcelona Complex.

ANN: FSF Corinthians

We are pleased to announce that our last session before the Euros is scheduled for Tuesday, June 8, at 3pm US Eastern (8pm UK time). Chris Bolsmann and Dil Porter will join us for a discussion of their book, English Gentlemen and World Soccer: Corinthians, Amateurism and the Global Game.

According to the publisher, the book “critically reassesses the club’s role in the development of football and fills a gap in existing literature on the relationship between the progress of the game in England and globally. Most crucially, the book re-examines the sporting ideology of gentlemanly amateurism within the context of late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century society.”

To receive the Zoom invite please email Peter Alegi (alegi AT msu DOT edu).

Super League “Flash” session

Money Art by Dan Leydon [https://danleydon.com]

On April 24, FSF came together to discuss the extraordinary events of the past week with the rise and fall of the European Super League. Participants included: Titi Kou, Tom McCabe, Andrew Lee, Stefan Szymanski, Adam Winkel, Lindsay Avant, Derek Catsam, Brian Wesaala, Chuck Carlson, and Peter Alegi.

Listen to the audio recording of the session (for personal/educational use only):

FSF In The Park

Our second session of 2021 took place on April 21 as David Trouille joined us to discuss his new book Fútbol in the Park: Immigrants, Soccer, and the Creation of Social Ties.

Participants included Tony Adedze, Chris Bolsmann, Peter Jones, Titi Kou, Chris Gaffney, Declan Abernethy, Nicholas Howe Bukowski, Dil Porter, Ted Richards, Chuck Carlson, Simon Rofe, Andrew Lee, Andrew Guest, Enrico Castro Montes, and Peter Alegi.

Listen to the audio recording (for personal/educational use only):

FSF’s next event is in early June (date/time TBD), featuring English Gentlemen and World Soccer: Corinthians, Amateurism and the Global Game, by Chris Bolsmann and Dil Porter. Email Peter Alegi (alegi AT msu DOT edu) to register.