David Goldblatt and Footy Culture BBC Radio 3

David Goldblatt, author of The Ball is Round, has an interesting radio series coming up on the metaphors, language, and culture surrounding the national teams at the World Cup. More info below:

2010 FIFA WORLD CUP Night Waves Monday 7 to Friday 11 June 9.15-10.00pm BBC RADIO 3 * www.bbc.co.uk/worldcup

With the World Cup just five days away, Night Waves presents a week of letters by writer David Goldblatt exploring football and its metaphors around the globe. Scratch a football culture anywhere and it bleeds in metaphor – ideas, comparisons and phrases that reveal much about the game but a lot more about the country that coined them. Each night, David chooses one of this year’s national teams as his subject. The Italians have the richest literary culture when describing the beautiful game and Italian sports writing even has its own Dante.

In tonight’s programme, David Goldblatt delves into the meaning of phrases such as “melina” (a gruel-like soup) and “arbitano” (a callow young priest) on the pitch and discovers that the language of Italian football is woven into the tapestry of politics and religion. Programmes later in the week explore the relationship between the tango and football in Argentina (Tuesday); look at the origins of the black star on the Ghanaian team shirt (Wednesday); and consider the geometric beauty of the much-celebrated, but rarely imitated, Dutch “total football” (Thursday). Presenter/David Goldblatt, Producer/James Cook

Tip o’ the hat to Peter Alegi.

May 25 – African Soccerscapes

The Football Scholars Forum will have its last meeting prior to the World Cup tomorrow at 2pm EDT, please check your time zones to ensure that we are all coordinate as I mistakenly used EST in my last notice (EDT is -4 UTC).

RSVP to Alex Galarza for Skype participation.

Here are a number of links of interest that are related to author Peter Alegi’s research and book:

New York Times “South Africans Push to Make the World Cup Their Own”

Dennis Brutus on Facebook Excerpts from Peter’s lecture at the Alan Paton Memorial Lecture

Radio Interview on France International

Visit the publisher’s page on African Soccerscapes for even more links and press related to the book.

May 25 – Alegi’s African Soccerscapes

“In this wonderfully researched and richly textured narrative, Alegi tells the vital story of how football transformed Africa and Africa transformed football during the 20th century. The book is a must-read for all those wishing to gain a greater understanding of the past, and future, of the global game.” – Laurent Dubois

FSF will be discussing Peter Alegi’s African Soccerscapes: How a Continent Changed the World’s Game on Tuesday, May 25th at 1400 EST. Those participating in person can assemble at the departmental conference room at Morrill 340. Those participating via web will take note that this month we are using Skype instead of Adobe Breeze this month. If you plan on participating via skype, please ensure that you download it, have a microphone and headphones, and email me at galarza1@msu.edu so that I can add you to the conference call.

Inaugural Sessions of 2010

January: The Global Game: Writers on Soccer, with John Turnbull and Alon Raab.

Listen to an audio recording here (for educational/personal use only).

February: Spartak Moscow: A History of the People’s Team in the Worker’s State, with Robert Edelman.

Listen to an audio recording here (for educational/personal use only).

March: Golden and Blue Like my Heart: Masculinity, Youth, and Power Among Soccer Fans in Mexico City, with Roger Magazine

Listen to an audio recording here (for educational/personal use only).