Fall 2020

Africa and the Globalization of Football (Soccer)

Moodle site: Course


Olufemi O. Vaughan (Section 01)


In our contemporary global world, football (known as soccer in the United States) is the preeminent sport around the globe. Widely played by girls and boys, women and men, poor and rich— and across vast social spaces in all continents — football has shaped the human experience in degrees only comparable to world religions, global political ideologies, and economic systems. With roots in a Western imperial encounter, football is ubiquitous in African local, national, and transnational experiences in our contemporary world. This first-year seminar will explore the fascinating story of footballing culture in Africa in the context of globalization since the attainment of independence by Africa societies in the 1960s. To establish the foundation for the course, the first half of our readings will focus on the following important issues: football and colonialism; football and Christian missionary education; football and post-colonial African state-society formation. Readings in the second half of the course will focus on our contemporary moment of globalization, exploring the following important issues: post-colonial African state crisis and the globalization of football; football and transnationalism; football, globalization, and racism; gender and the globalization of football; South Africa and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This course will not only tell the story of how football became Africa’s game, but more importantly, it will critically reflect on the important place of African footballing culture in local and global contexts, emphasizing African social, political, and economic tapestries from the late nineteenth century to the twenty first century.

Fall semester. Professor Vaughan. 


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Online Only, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English, Writing Intensive


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020