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

Father of the nation

The funeral of popular Angolan musician Nagrelha underscored his capacity to mobilize people and it reminds us that popular culture offers a kind of Rorschach test for the body politic.

A city divided

Ethnic enclaves are not unusual in many cities and towns across Sudan, but in Port Sudan, this polarized structure instigated and facilitated communal violence.

The imperial forest

Gregg Mitman’s ‘Empire of Rubber’ is less a historical reading of Liberia than a history of America and racial capitalism through the lens of a US corporate giant.

Africa’s next great war

The international community’s limited attention span is laser-focused on jihadism in the Sahel and the imploding Horn of Africa. But interstate war is potentially brewing in the eastern DRC.

The Cape Colony

The campaign to separate South Africa’s Western Cape from the rest of the country is not only a symptom of white privilege, but also of the myth that the province is better run.

Between East Africa and the Gulf

Political encounters between the Arab Gulf and Africa span centuries. Mahmud Traouri’s novel ‘Maymuna’ demonstrates the significant role of a woman’s journey from East Africa to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Āfrīqāyī

It’s not common knowledge that there is Iran in Africa and there is Africa in Iran. But there are commonplace signs of this connection.

It could happen to us

Climate negotiations have repeatedly floundered on the unwillingness of rich countries, but let’s hope their own increasing vulnerability instills greater solidarity.