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)

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 »

Pelada & the Wonder of the Game

The film Pelada started as a student project at Duke University, when Gwendolyn Oxenham, Ryan White, and Rebekah Fergusson — along with Luke Boughen, who was a student at Notre Dame — got funding from CDS and the Provost’s office to start travelling around the world looking for, and filming, pick-up games. The result is… 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 »