“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.

FIFA in Crisis

zapiro_blatter_envelope

 

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.

Download the audio of the session here.

FSF March: Zambian Fútbology

 

 

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

Audio of the session can be downloaded here.

Football on the Zambian Copperbelt with Hikabwa Chipande

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.

RSVP Alex Galarza (galarza1 AT msu DOT edu).

Fútbol Matters!

Professor Nadel
Professor Nadel

Our first session of 2015 featured an engaging discussion of Joshua Nadel’s Fútbol!: Why Soccer Matters in Latin America. Thirteen participants chatted with Nadel about national narratives, how soccer in Latin America fits with the global game, and what kinds of lessons the book has for Latin American history. Joshua Nadel shared his experience of writing the book and suggested future directions for research on fútbol.

Participants: Alejandro Gonzalez, Andrew Guest, Chris Brown, Chris Henderson, Danyel Reiche, Edward Murphy, Javier Pescador, Matt Hawkins, Martha Saavedra, Melissa Forbis, Alex Galarza, and Peter Alegi.

Audio of the session can be downloaded here.

FSF February: Fútbol in Latin America with Joshua Nadel

NadelFSF action returns after the holiday break with Joshua Nadel’s Fútbol!: Why Soccer Matters in Latin America on Wednesday, February 11, at 2:30pm Eastern Time (-5 GMT).

“Here are the football cultures of Latin America in all their macho glory,” says David Goldblatt; “but here too is the story of women’s football and its challenge to Latino masculinities. Above all, here is an account of football and nationalism, erudite and engaged, that remains rooted in the realities of play.”

Please send an RSVP to Alex Galarza (galarza.alex AT gmail) to be included in the Skype call.

The following two gatherings in March and April will feature papers by Hikabwa Chipande on football in Zambia and Alex Galarza on fútbol clubs in Buenos Aires, both based on doctoral dissertations in progress at Michigan State University.

 

Women’s Football: Global Perspectives

FSF’s last session of the year featured a wide-ranging discussion of women’s soccer. Discussion focused on three posts written by Jean Williams, Martha Saavedra, Gwen Oxenham, and a co-written piece by Brenda Elsey and Joshua Nadel. The posts and conversations centered on local contexts for fútbol femenino, mixed football, a possible boycott of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and strategies to connect our academic expertise on the women’s game to journalistic coverage.

Participants: Alon Raab, Brenda Elsey, Brian Bunk, Danyel Reiche, Gwen Oxenham, Hikabwa Chipande, Jean Williams, Joshua Nadel, Laurent Dubois, Lindsay Krasnoff, Martha Saavedra, Melissa Forbis, Roger Kittleson, Steven Apostolov, Liz Timbs, Peter Alegi, and Alex Galarza.

Audio can be downloaded here, and the four posts are below:

Martha Saavedra – A Pitch of Her Own
Gwen Oxenham – The National Teams We Know Nothing About
Brenda Elsey and Joshua Nadel – Marimachos*: On Women’s Football in Latin America
Jean Williams – When Two Elephants Fight, It is the Grass That Suffers

 

A Pitch of Her Own

Author (standing, first from left) with Ethiopia's national women's team. National Stadium, Addis Ababa, 2011. Photo: Saavedra.
Author (standing, first from left) with Ethiopia’s national women’s team. National Stadium, Addis Ababa, 2011. Photo: Saavedra.

By Martha Saavedra

Martha Saavedra is Associate Director of the Center for African Studies at the University of California Berkeley. Trained as a Political Scientist, she has taught at St. Mary’s College of California, UC Berkeley, Ohio University and the Escuela de Estudios Universitarios Real Madrid. Her research has ranged from agrarian politics, development and ethnic conflict in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan to gender and sport in Africa to a collaborative project on representations of Africa in Chinese popular culture. She has been on the editorial boards of Soccer and Society; Sport in Society; and Impumelelo: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Sports in Africa. A veteran of Title IX battles, she has played soccer for over 30 years and coached boys teams for 12 years.


On Tuesday at the University of California, Berkeley, I attended a panel discussion on Gender for a New Century: Countering Violence and Social Exclusions. The panel focused on important issues that the international community will be addressing in 2015 via United Nations’ assessments of efforts derived from the Millennium Development Goals and the Beijing Platform for Action frameworks. Faculty from UCB raised a number of really important topics including transnational labor markets, migration, sustainability, water & sanitation, disability rights, 2+ genders systems, culturally embedded gender-based violence, economic policy implications, nationalism and education. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director of UN Women, the featured speaker, responded to these points and suggested how gender might be addressed given the convergence at the UN of post-2015 MDG and Beijing 20+ discussions. It was an invigorating discussion setting out important aspirations, points of leverage, and boundaries for upcoming high level and impactful debates. Yet, nary was intimated about sport, physical activity, or, that all important endeavor, football.

Earlier that day in the office, before the gender event, a couple of us watched the United Nations sponsored ‘Africa United’ videos on youtube featuring Idris Elba as well as Carlton Cole, Yaya Touré, Andros Townsend, Patrick Vieira, Kei Kamara and Fabrice Muamba. (Also dubbed in Krio and French.) You’ve got to watch them if you love football, and ‘007 Idris, and if you are at all involved in efforts to confront the fears, misconceptions and realities of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Idris says “Its key strength is passing.” How can you not believe? “We are not heroes.” The health workers – “you are the true heroes”. The world’s most important team. Kudos to them. Not much to argue with there. But, of course, the UN does not call upon women footballers to help carry this message.
Read More