The conversation delved into the team at the heart of the book and then examined various aspects of the marketing of WPS—the second women’s pro soccer league in the United States—as well as its social context and audiences. The book’s themes of race, class, gender, sexuality, and social media were explored in detail. The discussion also brought out continuities and changes between the defunct WPS and its successor, the NWSL, now in its seventh season.
Cleveland grappled with questions about different aspects of his multifaceted and player-centered history of migration to Portugal from African colonies such as Mozambique and Angola. Cleveland, a social and labor historian of Africa at the University of Arkansas, explained his use of archival and oral sources, and stressed how African soccer migrants, despite many challenges under colonial rule, managed to find ways to negotiate a better life for themselves in Portugal.
Participants included: Danyel Reiche, Martha Saavedra, Michelle Sikes, Jacob Fredericks, Tianyi “Titi” Kou, Andrew Guest, and Peter Alegi.
Stefan Szymanski and Silke-Maria Weineck, authors of It’s Football, Not Soccer, joined the Football Scholars Forum on December 13 for the final session of 2018.
The discussion raised a number of interesting issues and questions, from historical usage of “soccer” vs “football” in US and UK media to American exceptionalism, regionalism, gender, psychology, and market logic.
Participants: Rachel Allison, Andrew Guest, Tarminder Kaur, David Kilpatrick, Adam Winkel, Chris Gaffney, Tom McCabe, Chris Henderson, and Peter Alegi.
The online conversation delved into multiple aspects of the book’s descriptions of Aspire’s global network linking West Africa, the Persian Gulf and Europe. Topics discussed included age cheating, Qatari power, the complexity of academies, the role of socio-economic forces, and education’s place in elite sport development.
Participants: Tom McCabe, Brian Wesaala, Danyel Reiche, Andrew Guest, Liz Timbs, Itamar Dubinsky, Gerard Akindes, and Peter Alegi. Listen to audio of the session below.
Next FSF session: December 13, 2pm US Eastern Time, featuring Stefan Szymanski & Silke-Maria Weineck, authors of It’s Football, Not Soccer (and Viceversa) [link]. RSVPs to Peter Alegi [alegi AT msu DOT edu].