The Class

This web site was produced in connection with a class taught in the Fall of 2009 at Duke University called “World Cup and World Politics.”

The course was taught by Professor Laurent Dubois, and student work on the history of soccer and politics by the students is available here.

Course readings included:


Christian Bromberger, “Football as World-View and Ritual,” French Cultural Studies 6 (1995): 293-311.

Houchang E. Chehabi, “The Politics of Football in Iran,” Soccer and Society 7: 2–3 (April–July 2006), 233–261.

Andrei S. Markovits, “The Other ‘American Exceptionalism’: Why Is There No Soccer in the United States?” Praxis 2 (1998), 125-150.

Peter Alegi, “’A Nation To Be Reckoned With’: The Politics of World Cup Stadium Construction in Cape Town and Durban, South Africa,” African Studies 67:3, pp. 397- 422.

Alastair Reid in the New Yorker on the 1966 World Cup

Nick Hornby in the New Yorker on the 2002 World Cup

Warren St. John’s New York Times Article on the Fugees in Atlanta

Achille Mbembe on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa


Bill Murray, The World’s Game: A History of Soccer (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996).

James Walvin, The Only Game: Football in Our Times (New York: Longman Press, 2002).

Edouardo Galeano, Soccer in Sun and Shadow (New York: Verso Press, 2003).

Jere Longman, Girls of Summer: The U.S. Soccer Team and How It Changed the World (New York: Harper, 2001).

John Turnbull, Thom Satterlee and Alon Raab, eds., The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008).


9 responses to “The Class

  1. Thank you for the wonderfull list of course readings, I have read some but not all, planning on reading the rest soon. Any thoughts on David Goldblatt’s, The ball is round: A global history of football(soccer for US market)?

    • Thanks for your comment. I’m glad the readings are of interest. Goldblatt’s book is remarkable — all 800 pages or so! — for its detail and breadth as well. It’s great to see so much interesting work being published on the history of football.

  2. I’d love to take this course! How did you arrive at your selections for the readings?

    • I tried to select a range of readings both in terms of geography — seeking to really provide a global look at the sport — and in terms of writing style. Part of the idea is to give students a range of models and inspiration for their own writing.

  3. Pingback: Blog « Soccer Politics

  4. I’m a new professor at Meredith College and would love to see your syllabus for the course. Regrettably, I have not made it to any of the film series showings as of yet, but will definitely be there for “Maradona.” Any thoughts on Foer’s How Soccer Explains the World? Did you consider this text or any of the player biographies out there? I admire what you’re doing with this course.

  5. Shyam Gopaladesikan

    Wish I could’ve taken a course like this in my undergraduate days. quite jealous of the students that you currently have in this class, professor dubois.

    The Goldblatt book is superb. A few more books that I quite enjoyed that tie in well with your class are simon kuper’s “football against the enemy” and ‘soccernomics”, “brilliant orange: the neurotic genius of dutch soccer”, and “inverting the pyramid: a history of football tactics”.

    The latter has less social commentary than the first three, but all superb nonetheless.

  6. Pingback: World Cup and World Politics – Duke WordPress MU Pilot

  7. Dr. Dubois,
    I am a student at Lynchburg College and I happened to stumble upon your blog/website while in my research methods class for International Relations. I am a soccer player and I am looking at writing my senior thesis next year on the affect that the world cup has on politics and a developing nation. I was wondering if I could keep in contact with you to gather ideas and more research. This blog is amazing and I wish I could attend some of the events that you are holding.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s