We’re allowed to talk about the 2010 World Cup until 2014. Later today our man, historian of African soccer, Peter Alegi, will deliver the keynote address at the 7th Sports in Africa Symposium at Ohio University. Since few of us are in Athens, don’t panic: The whole thing–including Peter’s keynote–will be webcasted live here. Here’s the description:

Peter Alegi – Michigan State University
From Marginalization to Global Citizenship: Africa’s First World Cup in Historical Perspective

The day after Spain defeated The Netherlands in the World Cup final at the Soccer City in Johannesburg, global media celebrated South Africa’s successful hosting of the planet’s greatest sporting event. “South Africa’s triumph in being host to the World Cup can no longer be questioned,” wrote the International Herald Tribune. South African media were inundated by a tidal wave of self-congratulatory statements much like Mark Gevisser’s “We did it, we showed the world.” Other local commentators saw the World Cup as a Steve Biko-like moment of black pride, achievement and self-awareness.

Alegi’s lecture reflects more deeply on the ways in which the 2010 World Cup fits into a long history of Africa’s contributions to the globalization of soccer, from colonial times to the present. His scholarly assessment of the 2010 World Cup’s impact on South Africa should deepen our understanding of the intertwined nature of soccer, politics, business, and culture in twenty-first-century Africa.

The full program.

Further Reading

Resonant music

The film “Africa Mia” (2019), directed by Richard Minier and Edouard Salier, explores the musical connections between Cuba and Mali.

Wyuyata’s story

While Sierra Leone has come very far in its fight against sexual violence the question of safeguarding victims especially children needs urgent attention.

The politics of elegance

German historian Daniel Tödt wrote a history of the Congolese évolués. In this interview, he talks about the historiographical interventions of his book and the role of Patrice Lumumba in the history of évolués.

Bring Patrice Lumumba home

The return of Patrice Lumumba’s remains must not be an occasion for Belgium to congratulate itself, but for a full accounting of the colonial violence that led to the assassination and coverup.

Back from Safari

If you hadn’t noticed, we were on our annual break from just before Christmas 2021 until now. We are back, including with some inspiration.