Soccer: A Global History

History 190

Spring 2018
2040 VLSB (Valley Life Sciences)
Day & Time: 
TuTh 11-12:30
Class Number: 

Whether you call it soccer, football or fútbol the beautiful game with the round ball is played and watched around the world. This class will explore how and why that came to happen. Along the way it will trace key developments in the game such as the formation of clubs, governing bodies, international tournaments, the development of stadiums, fan culture, media coverage, formations, styles of play, gambling, corruption, the working conditions of players and hooliganism. Although I am a massive fan the point of the class is less to nerd out than to locate these changes in broader historical processes – political, economic, social and cultural - that have transformed the game and made it a global commodity. Broadly speaking the class follows how since the middle of the nineteenth century the game was shaped by the history of capitalism and its alternatives, as well as by the formation of nation states, empires, internationalism, regionalism, and globalization. Throughout the way the game was played and watched remained inseparable from our understanding of gender, class, ethnicity, race and religion. Ideally the class will teach you both a lot about the game and about thinking historically about how the world changes over time.