About Eleven Named People.

The way I think and write about football culture and politics is inspired by the great Marxist historian and football fan (Rapid Wien), Eric Hobsbawm, especially his dictum: "The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people."

Eleven Named People strives to be a halfway house, repository, and greenhouse for a larger project I am developing that explores professional football or soccer as a site of cultural struggle and economic exploration, especially its racial dimensions; and how football can reveal racial and class dynamics at national and global levels of analysis, mainly from vantage points in the Global South and their linkages to Euro-America. For now, this substack is the main outlet is this substack.

As for my background: I was born and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. If you know the football fandom in that city and country, you’ll understand why I mainly support Liverpool FC, Orlando Pirates, and Napoli. I am on the international affairs faculty of The New School where I co-taught a course on “Global Soccer, Global Politics.” I founded the site Africa Is a Country. Some of my writing on sports culture have been published in Soccer & Society, Radical History Review, Al Jazeera English, Roads & Kingdoms, herri, The Nation, Jadaliyya, and Medium, among others.

A longer bio is here.

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"The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people" (Eric Hobsbawm).


Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs is on the faculty of The New School and is Founder-Editor of Africa is a Country. He has written about football culture for Al Jazeera, Africa Is a Country, The New York Times, The Guardian and Roads and Kingdoms, among others.