“Soccer as a Global Phenomenon” Conference at Harvard Univ.

Deadline: 1 September 2015
Open to: scholars at all stages of their academic career
Venue: 14-16 April 2016, Harvard University, USA


The Weatherhead Initiative on Global History (WIGH) at Harvard University has opened a call for papers for international conference “Soccer as a Global Phenomenon”. Soccer is the most global of games and one of the most vigorous engines of the process commonly known, celebrated, or feared as globalization.

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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. The conference will focus on 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.


The organizers are seeking proposals from scholars at all stages of their academic career, including graduate students, who wish to present their original research on a variety of topics dealing with social, political, or economic aspects of different ecosystems of the world of soccer –including modest clubs and lesser known leagues as well as global icons and organizations like FIFA— or with the evolution of  “the beautiful game” itself. The particular interest lies in forging a global discussion of these topics, and therefore especially contributions from outside North America and Europe are welcomed.


The organizers hope to cover all (economy class) travel costs, accommodation and meals, pending the availability of funds.

How to apply?

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2015. Please submit a single doc or pdf file including an abstract of no more than 500 words and a brief CV to wigh@fas.harvard.edu with the subject line “Soccer2016.” It is strongly recommended to include a header with your name on every page of your submission. Applicants will be notified in October 2015. If accepted, you will be asked for a draft paper by 1 March 2016.

For more information please follow the official website.

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