Reinforcing, Crossing, and Transcending Borders: Soccer in a Globalized World (Athens, Greece. 2017)

Reinforcing, Crossing, and Transcending Borders: Soccer in a Globalized World

Weatherhead Initiative on Global History, Harvard University
Supported by Simmons College, Boston, MA

Hosted by Olympiacos F.C. in Athens, Greece

September 4th - 6th, 2017


Following up on its 2016 conference, “Soccer as a Global Phenomenon,” The Weatherhead Initiative on Global History (WIGH) at Harvard University is happy to announce a second event, “Reinforcing, Crossing, and Transcending  Borders: Soccer in a Globalized World.”

Referred to as the global game and embodying many different aspects of globalization, soccer has increasingly become the focus of scholarly research, the topic of media inquiry and the subject of creative work looking to understand the sport from both a local and a global perspective. Recognizing the importance of borders and border crossings to soccer’s growth into a major sport and to soccer’s relation to cultural, economic, political and social issues, this conference will look to examine how borders, boundaries and international movement have influenced the sport’s development.  In hopes of gaining a broad perspective, we are interested in submissions that include but are not exclusive to subjects such as: players and coaches who have played and coached abroad, fans who root from a distance, clubs who are concerned with global justice, the impact social media has had on the game’s international allure, and the influence national and local teams and regional and international governing bodies have had on immigration discussions. The conference will focus on these types of issues with the hopes of better understanding how soccer’s institutional framework, governing practices and international reach both facilitate border crossings, reify boundaries, and create global spaces. 


Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of History, Harvard University
Stephen Ortega, Associate Professor of History, Simmons College
Yağmur Nuhrat, Instructor of Sociology, Bilgi University
Daren Graves, Associate Professor of Education, Simmons College 

Initiator of Conference Series: Cemal Kafadar, Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies,
Harvard University