History | Politics, Culture, and Sport in Latin America: A History of Modern Football
F300 | 12932 | A. Saitta

Above class open to undergraduates and EDUC MA's only
Above class meets with LTAM-L 426

Course Description and Objectives

Few human activities parallel football’s ability to transverse
cultural and political boundaries. A study recently published by
FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) estimates
that the game of football is regularly practiced in over 200
countries by an approximated 250 million women and men.  The
manifestation of that phenomenon in Latin America raises a host of
historical questions loaded with cultural and political
significance: How did football become the region’s most popular
sport? Why is it more popular in some areas and less so in others?
What is its relationship to the region’s patterns of cultural,
political, and economic development? What implications does it raise
about gender roles and relations?

In attempting to answer questions of this sort, this course will
survey the development of modern football in the Americas from its
beginnings in nineteenth century to its expansion throughout the
region. We will focus on the development of professional football as
a social phenomenon, its relation to political life, and the
politics of football in everyday life. We will cover a wide spectrum
of topics critical to the human condition, all related to the
central theme of football, its practices, its impacts, as well as
its multiple complex cultural manifestations and implications. We
will investigate football and its relationship to colonialism,
modernization, race and ethnicity, nationalism, and popular culture
to name a few topics.

Course Requirements

There are no prerequisites for this course. The course approaches
the study of football using methods drawn from history,
anthropology, sociology, gender studies, and cultural studies.
Throughout the course students will engage selected readings and
investigate core themes by exploring a variety of sources, such as
original documents, videos, photographs and other types of primary
source material in order to compliment assigned readings. Further
requirements include short response papers, critical media analysis,
and active in-class participation.