November 9: Soccer in the Classroom

The pre-circulated syllabi inspired discussion on a vareity of topics and questions, including: how can we integrate technical and tactical aspects of the game into broader intellectual analysis? Given the huge canvas of “global soccer,” how have instructors dealt with thematic, geographic, and chronological coverage? Which films and popular literary works have worked well and why? What is the state of “football archives”? Several participants spoke about the importance of knowing your audiences and valuing diversity. Others commented on the challenges and rewards of being the first to teach sport-focused courses in their departments and institutions.

September 23: Citizens and Sportsmen in Chile

With Brenda Elsey

In a vibrant opening to the 2011-12 FSF season, Brenda Elsey made FSF history by becoming the first author to visit Michigan State University in person. Situating her new book in the context of Latin American historiography’s concerns with the question of how democratic Chile was before the 1973 coup, Elsey uses football to convincingly argue that the country was strongly democratic before Pinochet’s rise to power. The session explored topics such as sources and methodology; gender, class and race; the 1962 World Cup; football clubs as conduits for political mobilization; and the secularization of public space.


April 18: Women’s Football

With the 2011 Women’s World Cup around the corner, our first session on the women’s game was facilitated by Jennifer Doyle and included author Cynthia Pelak. Some key issues and topics covered in the session included the hidden history of women’s football; gender, sexuality, and class; media disinterest about women’s sports; the impact of FIFA’s takeover of the women’s game; South African dynamics; law and government policy; coaching and playing styles; empowerment and disempowerment.


February 17: Fútbol History and Politics in Argentina (en Español)

Fantastic discussion about Fútbol, Historia, y Política with the book’s editors Julio Frydenberg and Rodrigo Daskal, and chapter author Mariano Gruschetsky, joining us via Skype from Argentina. Our conversation revolved around one of the main themes of their book: the tensions between public and private logics in Argentine football clubs. We also discussed possibilities of comparative research in Argentine football when the conversation turned towards parallels with Chilean and English football.

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