Author Archives: Laurent Dubois

About Laurent Dubois

I am Professor of Romance Studies and History and the Director of the Forum for Scholars & Publics at Duke University. I founded the Soccer Politics blog in 2009 as part of a course on "World Cup and World Politics" taught at Duke University. I'm currently teaching the course under the title "Soccer Politics" here at Duke. My books include Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (University of California Press, 2010) and The Language of the Game: How to Understand Soccer (Basic Books, 2018)

Class Projects from the University of Virginia on the Summer 2024 Copa America, Euros & Olympics

This semester, students in UVA’s “Soccer Politics” class produced a range of digital projects focused on this summer’s tournaments. You can explore them through the links below. Many of the projects will be updated with content and discussion as the tournaments unfold. COPA AMERICA Chelsea Divers, Avery Dougald, James Hawkins, Ian Iskra & Ben Wieland… Read More »

Soccer Politics Class Spring 2020

I’ve gotten various requests for my syllabi for the Soccer Politics class I teach at Duke University. I’ve posted the “itinerary” from Spring 2020 with the readings and movies we watch below. Note that the class is taught with multiple language sections, with students doing readings and papers variously in English, Spanish and French. Duke… Read More »

Soccertown USA

A new documentary has just been released, and is free to watch on Youtube, about the remarkable story of Kearny, New Jersey and the town’s role in the history of U.S. soccer. One of the makers of the film, Tom McCabe, has also written an interesting piece about an African-American soccer player from Kearny in… Read More »

Fever Pitch

Nick Hornby’s novel Fever Pitch is a memoir about being an Arsenal fan, a particular kind of malady within the broader world of football obsession. Students in the English language section of Soccer Politics are reading it this week. To accompany your reading, you might enjoy the 1997 film version of the book starring Colin… Read More »

Visualizing African Soccerscapes

Next week our Soccer Politics class here at Duke University we are transitioning to a virtual classroom, and the first Zoom lecture/discussion will be about Peter Alegi’s excellent book African Soccerscapes. The book takes us on a journey through the history of football throughout the continent, exploring it’s spread during the colonial period, it’s role… Read More »

Reading Galeano

Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow is one of the most lauded books written about soccer to this day. Rather than providing a standard ‘nuts and bolts’ account of the game, forcing the reader to sift through countless names, dates and statistics, Galeano instead provides his readers with 150 short sketches about the game.… Read More »

Soccer as Ritual, and Being on the Pitch with Zidane

The French anthropologist Christian Bromberger has studied and written about football games as a kind of ritual that provides an “inexhaustible terrain of interpretation” for those who participate and watch. In his French-language book “Le match de football,” he studied how crowds experienced and interpreted games in the European football heartlands of Marseille, Milan, and… Read More »