Chris Brown on Soccer in Manaus

2015.04-Rio-Negro-no-Campeonato-Brasileiro-de-1973-2 copyFSF met once again on March 31st to discuss Chris Brown’s paper, “Envisioning the City through Soccer in the Brazilian Amazon, 1914-2014.” Chris, a longtime FSF member and PhD Candidate in Latin American History at Emory University, shared with the group his fresh research funded by a FIFA João Havelange Fellowship. Our discussion touched on many topics including stadium construction, gendered conceptions of modernity and progress, the clubs of Manaus, and comparisons to other cities in Latin America.

 

Participants included: Brenda Elsey, Danyel Reiche, David Kilpatrick, George Kioussis, Jennifer Schaefer, Matt Hawkins, Tarminder Kaur, Peter Alegi, and Alex Galarza.

Audio of the conversation can be found here.

FSF March: Soccer in the Amazon

By Brazilian Government - Portal da Copa - Atribuição 3.0 Brasil
By Brazilian Government – Portal da Copa – Atribuição 3.0 Brasil

FSF continues the spring season on Thursday, March 31st at 2:30pm Eastern U.S. Time with a discussion of Chris Brown’s paper: “Envisioning the City through Soccer in the Brazilian Amazon, 1914-2014.” Chris is a longtime FSF member and PhD Candidate in Latin American History at Emory University researching the history of Manaus, Brazil, through the lens of soccer (1914-2014)

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.

“The Ugly Game” and the Future of FIFA

 

On February 11, two weeks before the FIFA election to select Sepp Blatter’s successor, the Football Scholars Forum discussed The Ugly Game: The Corruption of FIFA and the Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup by Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert.

Qatar’s successful 2022 World Cup bid and the role of the now-disgraced ex-FIFA ExCo member Mohamed Bin Hammam came under close scrutiny. The authors’ reliance on leaked FIFA electronic files called attention to the challenges and opportunities for scholars working with “big data.” There was discussion about discourses of Western bias and even racism against Africans and Asians (especially Arabs) that are sometimes perceived to be embedded in corruption allegations. Among the other topics tackled in the event was the intriguing question of whether there should be a universal standard of human rights required for nations to host the World Cup.

The session closed with important contributions related to the upcoming FIFA presidential ballot. Will Sheikh Salman or Gianni Infantino win? And what kinds of reforms might the new leadership deliver? What is the likelihood that any changes introduced will meaningfully transform the structure and governance of the much-maligned world body? In a climate plagued by corruption and cynicism, is there any hope for a better future?

An audio recording of the session is available here.

Participants: Alon Raab, Kevin Tallec Marston, Tarminder Grover, Andrew Guest, Chris Brown, David Kilpatrick, Simon Kuper, Alex Galarza, and Peter Alegi.

The next FSF session is scheduled for March 31 (2pm U.S. Eastern time). Chris Brown will pre-circulate a paper drawn from his ongoing doctoral research on football in Manaus, Brazil. To join the conversation, please email Alex Galarza (galarza DOT alex AT gmail) or Peter Alegi (alegi AT msu DOT edu).

FSF February: The Ugly Game

the-ugly-game-9781501131493_lgAfter the mid-season break, FSF returns on Thursday, February 11, at 2pm Eastern U.S. time. with a discussion of The Ugly Game: The Corruption of FIFA and the Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup by British reporters Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert.

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.

 

 

2015 Women’s World Cup Redux

 

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.

See you again in 2016!

The 2015 Women’s World Cup: Impact and Aftermath

 

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

 

Shared Resources

 

 

Additional Resources

 

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. 

Shireen Ahmed, “Women’s World Cup May Seem Like a Feminist Fairy Tale, But the Fight’s Not Over”RH Reality Check, July 10, 2015

Jean Williams, “When Two Elephants Fight, It is the Grass That Suffers,” Football Scholars Forum, December 1, 2015

Gwendolyn Oxenham, “Pinoe’s Biggest Fan,” Ussoccer.com, June 14, 2015

Andrew Guest, “A Thinking Fan’s Guide to the Women’s World CupThe Allrounder 4 June 2015

Margery Masterson, “Watching the Women’s World Cup in the USA,” womenworkvalue2015, June 2015

CIES, Women’s Football Survey 2014 [pdf]

More links forthcoming.

FSF November: Galarza on Clubs in Buenos Aires

 

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.

Listen to or download the audio recording here.

“Dreaming of Sports City” in Buenos Aires

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.

Season Opener on England, Germany, and the Press

 

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.

Follow Christoph on Twitter at @wagnerc23 and via his blog An Old International.

Listen to the audio recording or download here.

2015-16 Season Opens! The English Press and Anglo-German Football

England_WestGermany_1954The 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.