Looking ahead to the Fall semester, I wanted to share with you some writings I did this Spring and Summer about recent events relating to the issues we’ll be discussing this semester.
First, the “Arab Spring” of protests and revolutions that have shaken up the Middle East started in Tunisia, a former French colony. Here’s a nice radio piece featuring David Peisner, a writer for Spin Magazine, about some of the music that provided the inspiration for, and soundtrack to, that revolution.
As you will learn, I’m a bit obsessed with soccer and politics, which we’ll be exploring throughout the semester. It has been quite an interesting Spring and Summer for French soccer:
In July, I wrote a series of pieces recently about the Women’s World Cup, particularly a profile of one of France’s star players Louisa Necib, who is of Algerian background and sometimes compared to Zinedine Zidane.
In addition, I provided coverage of the scandal involving racism at the French Football Federation. This case, little-covered in the U.S. media, exploded in France when a tape was released proving that high-ranking members of the Federation (including national team coach Laurent Blanc) had discussed ways of limiting the number of players of African and Arab background in the youth academies within the country. I wrote an editorial in French about the issue for Mediapart, the French news site that broke the story. The English-language pieces I wrote about the issue (in order of their appearance) are:
The other big story of the summer, of course, was the scandal involving the rape allegations against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. There has been much ink spilled about this, of course, and will certainly continue to be. I assume you have followed this case, but for those of you who read French wanted to point you to an interesting piece (by Manthia Diawara that examined some of the connections between the French Football Federation case and the DSK issue.