WIGH Conference: "Soccer as a Global Phenomenon"


Thu - Sat, Apr 14 to Apr 16, 4:00pm - 2:00pm


Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street

Harvard University
April 14th, 15th, & 16th, 2016

Soccer is the most global of games and one of the most vigorous engines of the process commonly known, celebrated, or feared as globalization. Beyond its immense popularity, soccer now enjoys tremendous success as a global industry with many interlocking parts in an intricate architecture of organizations that represent clubs, nations, regions, and continents. Just as the game once took shape in the context of the reconfiguration of social life in industrializing societies, the industrialization of soccer itself accompanies profound changes in the disciplines of labor and leisure during the New Media Age with its unprecedented power to penetrate distant corners and private spaces via digital links. Yet, the game still derives much of its vitality from passions rooted in a sense of place and of community.

The organizing theme of the conference is precisely this tension or modes of accommodation between the globalizing impulse and the tenacious appeal of local attachments, past and present. We are interested in exploring different dimensions of that theme while sparking a conversation about the relevance of a study of soccer and of sports for a deeper critical understanding of global history and of globalization.

More details and a complete program will be shared as they become available.

Conference Conveners:
Francesco Erspamer, Professor of Romance Languages and Literature

Cemal Kafadar, Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies, Department of History

Mariano Siskind, Professor of Romance Languages and Literature