The Indiana Jones of Fútbol Journalism

Christened the “Indiana Jones of soccer journalism” by Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, James Montague had barely survived the interminable journey from Australia to London only to plunge into a place without time or space–the Football Scholars Forum online.

What ensued was a vigorous discussion of his 2014 book Thirty-One-Nil: On the Road With Football’s Outsiders: A World Cup Odyssey. Montague revealed the African sources of inspiration for the project; the challenges of writing an ambitious travelogue on the unglamorous edges of world football; the pleasures of lessons learned and insights gained. One big surprise sprung by the Skype conversation and Twitter backchannel was the discovery of Next Goal Wins, a documentary film about American Samoa’s World Cup team chronicled so evocatively in 31-Nil. (Click here to watch the trailer.)

Participants: Danyel Reiche, Alex Galarza, Roger Kittleson, Andrew Guest, David Kilpatrick, Martha Saavedra, Chris Henderson, Tony Adedze, Steven Apostolov, Alejandro Gonzales, Liz Timbs, and Peter Alegi.

Click here to listen to an audio recording of the session.

FSF’s next session is a roundtable on the state of the women’s game internationally, on the pitch and in the literature. The discussion will pivot around pre-circulated blog posts on this website by Jean Williams (@JeanMWilliams), Martha Saavedra (@tricontinental), Gwendolyn Oxenham, and Brenda Elsey (@politicultura) and others. The event will take place during the week of December 9-11, with a final date and time to be determined soon!

Brand Brazil: Past as Prologue

Brasilidade, class, gender, futebol força versus futebol arte, tropical modernity, the 2014 World Cup, and globalizing “brand Brazil” were just some of the topics discussed in the Football Scholars Forum’s inaugural event of 2014-15 with historian Roger Kittleson.

Joining the author of The Country of Football: Soccer and the Making of Modern Brazil, were: Danyel Reiche, Christoph Wagner, Lindsay Krasnoff, David Kilpatrick, Rwany Sibaja, Andrew Guest, Brenda Elsey, Javier Pescador, Austin Long, Chris Henderson (all via Skype), and Nubia Rodrigues, Liz Timbs, David Glovsky, Alejandro Gonzales, and Peter Alegi in the Michigan State University History Department‘s new LEADR Digital Lab.

Click here to listen to an audio recording of the session.

FSF’s next event is on October 30. James Montague (@JamesPiotr), aka the “Indiana Jones of soccer journalism,” will participate in a discussion of his new book Thirty-One-Nil: On the Road With Football’s Outsiders: A World Cup Odyssey.