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 »
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 »
The last few years have seen the publication of several wonderful new works on the past and present of women’s soccer globally. Gwendolyn Oxenham’s Under the Lights and in the Dark provides a rich portrait of contemporary players making their way in different parts of the world. And last year Brenda Elsey and Joshua Nadel… Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
This week Duke University’s Forum for Scholars & Publics will be hosting a symposium on “The Struggle for Equality in Women’s Soccer.” All are welcome! Click here for a full schedule. And feel free to download & share the poster below.
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 »
This Radio Lab episode explores the history of the Carlisle Indian School and the way its players transformed the way that American Football was played in the nineteenth century. There are some fascinating parallels here with some of the ways in which Scottish players and others developed a passing game in soccer. Enjoy!