“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.

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).

Marimachos*: On Women’s Football in Latin America


By Brenda Elsey and Joshua Nadel

Dr. Brenda Elsey is an associate professor of history at Hofstra University and the author of Citizens and Sportsmen: Fútbol and Politics in Twentieth Century Chile. Follow her on twitter @politicultura. Dr. Joshua Nadel is assistant professor of Latin American and Caribbean history and associate director of the Global Studies Program at North Carolina Central University. His book Fútbol! Why Soccer Matters in Latin America was published in 2014. Follow him on twitter @jhnadel

Not to complain, but it’s not easy to be a feminist and a scholar of sports. On the one hand, many researchers are hostile to feminist scholarship. On the other hand, many feminist scholars express disgust at the mere mention of studying sport, seeing it as an overdetermined site of sexism. Even scholars who have embraced the study of masculinity and recognize the importance of gender often neglect to discuss how it shapes women’s lives. In practice, this has meant that men remain the protagonists of history.

In Latin America, there is a further criticism from our peers. Some argue that feminism is an imperialist imposition, an import that has distracted from the need to analyze economic and political inequalities, despite the fact that gender is a prime determinant of one’s position in both of those hierarchies. It is surprising how otherwise critical and brilliant minds react to this work. Several of the reactions can be grouped and, when taken seriously, reveal important assumptions that need to be overturned. In her excellent post, Jean Williams mentions similar misconceptions. We think it’s worth reflecting on them at length.

Read More

FSF February: Sport and Politics in France—Making of Les Bleus

The Football Scholars Forum 2013-14 season resumes on February 12 at 8pm Eastern Time with a discussion of Lindsay Krasnoff’s The Making of Les Bleus: Sport in France, 1958-2010. The book explores how French political leaders sought to build a national sporting culture through the training of young fútbol (and basketball) players for international competitions. In preparation for the event, you can listen here to Lindsay discussing her book on the New Books in Sports podcast.

To participate in the 90-minute session, please send Peter Alegi your Skype name (if Peter doesn’t already have it) so you can be added to the call.

Looking ahead to our event in March (25/26, time TBD), we’re trying something new. Instead of members reading and discussing the same book, each participant will read one fútbol book (or lengthy article) and give a 5-7 minute report about it to the rest of the group. The idea is to produce a sort of “state of the field” snapshot from a variety of regions and disciplines. Stay tuned for more details about the March event.

Last but not least, we are waiting to hear about our FSF roundtable on “Academics, Journalists, and the Changing Trends in Fútbol Writing” proposed for the “Soccer as the Beautiful Game: Football’s Artistry, Identity & Politics” conference at Hofstra University, April 10-12, 2014.

Oh, did we mention that it’s a World Cup year?

Going Local: U.S. Soccer History

USMNT-1916bOn Tuesday, February 26, FSF grappled with the works by Steven Apostolov, Gabe Logan, and Tom McCabe on the history of American soccer in Massachusetts, Chicago, and northern New Jersey.

David Kilpatrick, official historian of the New York Cosmos, skillfully moderated the 90-minute online conversation. Joining the authors and discussant were: Melissa Forbis, Alejandro Gonzalez, Hikabwa Chipande, Lindsay Krasnoff, David Keyes, Brenda Elsey, Brian Bunk, Andrew Guest, Peter Alegi, and Alex Galarza.

Listen to the audio from the session here (mp3).

¡Adelante! Fútbol and Politics in Chile

elseybookIn a vibrant opening to the 2011-12 FSF season, we discussed Brenda Elsey’s book Citizens and Sportsmen.  Brenda made FSF history by being the first author to visit Michigan State University in person, for which she received a stylish FSF t-shirt and a dinner in her honor! Situating her study in the context of Latin American historiography’s concerns with the question of how democratic Chile was before the 1973 coup, Elsey uses football to convincingly argue that the country was strongly democratic before Pinochet’s rise to power.  The group explored topics such as sources and methodology; gender, class and race; the 1962 World Cup; football clubs as conduits for political mobilization; and the secularization of public space. The participants were: Alon Raab, Chris Gaffney, David Kilpatrick, Ingrid Bolivar, Brenda Elsey, Alex Galarza, and Peter Alegi. Unfortunately, the audio from the session is flawed, but is nevertheless available for listening here.

On Thursday (9/22), Brenda gave a campus talk introducing her book on Chilean football and politics. The next day she attended a grad seminar where we discussed her article from the Journal of Social History, “The Independent Republic of Football: The Politics of Neighborhood Clubs in Santiago, Chile, 1948-1960.

Our next session on Wednesday, November 9th will focus on football in the classroom. Peter Alegi, Tom McCabe, Steven Apostolov, and Alon Raab will lead the discussion. This will be an excellent opportunity to exchange syllabi, sources, reading lists, and teaching perspectives. Our discussion will not necessarily center on soccer-specific courses; if you would like to include a unit/section/lecture on soccer in your humanities or social science course, be sure to join the discussion.