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Football as Global History - MHIS218

Global football across its various codes (soccer, rugby, Australian Rules, and American Football) comes as close to a universal human experience as any other activity. The football's reach dwarfs all major religions and political empires. The emergence of global communication and financial networks have further propelled football's popularity and allowed all of the codes to grow tremendously. Fans can now follow their favorite teams from one corner of the globe to the other.

This course explores the ways that football as broadly understood was shaped by and has helped shape global political, social, and cultural history since 1850. Emerging in the private schools of upper class England, football, rugby, and soccer quickly spread across the globe following patterns of trade, colonization, and war. As soon as it appeared, these games became enmeshed in debates about race, class, ethnicity, gender, and political and social economy. Football’s social and cultural meaning carries through to today and provides a rich field for historical inquiry.

We will approach the study of the football codes through a close reading of a variety of primary and secondary sources with the goal of producing an original research paper. A series of scaffolded assignments lead to the final paper written on a topic of the student’s choice.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

TBD - Not offered in the current year; next offering is to be determined

Staff Contact(s): Dr Keith Rathbone

12cp at 100 level or above or (3cp in HIST or MHIS or POL units) Prerequisite Information


Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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