Author Archives: Laurent Dubois

About Laurent Dubois

I am the Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke. 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 and, most recently, Haiti: The Aftershocks of History.

The “I Believe” Chant: A Brief History

During Friday afternoon’s student protests at Duke University, the crowd approaching the Allen Building (which was occupied that afternoon by nine students, who are still in the building as of today), broke into a very particular chant, as seen here in a video posted by the Duke Chronicle.   They repeated the chant on Saturday… Read More »

The Forgotten Early History of Women’s Soccer

Gail Newsham’s book In a League of Their Own! offers a unique account of the early history of women’s soccer in England. There is surprisingly little work on the history of women’s soccer in general, and particularly on its early period. Newsham’s research was pioneering in that she was able to gather together documentation on… Read More »

Football as Ritual

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 »

The Stade de France: A History in Fragments

(Originally posted at Africa is A Country on November 15th, 2015) The French national team player Patrice Evra was dribbling up the pitch when the second bomb exploded. Two minutes earlier, the same thing had happened: a loud, resonating explosion heard by the 65,000 fans gathered to watch a friendly match between Germany and France.… Read More »

Lassana Diarra’s Statement on the Paris Attacks

Lassana Diarra issued a statement about the Paris attacks today. Here is the original. Below is a translation of the statement. “In the wake of the dramatic events that took place yesterday in Paris and Saint-Denis, it is with a heavy hard that I speak today. As you have perhaps read, I was personally touched… Read More »

The World Cup and the Dirty War

In 1978, Argentina hosted the World Cup in the midst of a period of tremendous political repression. Grant Farred’s book Long Distance Love tells this story, and reflects on what it means for the way we think about politics and football. More recently, this 2014 piece by Wright Thompson offers a remarkable account of the… Read More »

Temples of the Earthbound Gods

Christopher Gaffney’s book Temples of the Earthbound Gods offers us a rich geographical, culture, and ethnographic look at the way lives in Brazil and Argentina intersect with and our transformed by the space of stadia. What do you see as the most interesting contributions of this work? What kinds of theoretical approaches does he use… Read More »

African Soccerscapes

Peter Alegi’s book African Soccerscapes offers a careful account of the place of football in colonial Africa and the important role in played in the process of decolonization. Alegi, a Professor at Michigan State University, also maintains a blog called Football is Coming Home, and recently wrote about the first African Nations Cup. This post… Read More »