This Substack is inspired by the great Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm: "The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people." Hobsbawm, who grew up in Vienna, was a fan of Rapid Wien (Vienna), that city’s storied football club. The point with the Substack is to act as a halfway house, repository, and greenhouse for an ambitious project I am developing that explore how professional football or soccer is a site of cultural struggle and economic exploration, especially its racial dimensions; how football can reveal racial and class dynamics at national and global levels of analysis, mainly from vantage points in the Global South, especially from and about Africa, South America and the Caribbean, and its linkages to Euro-America.
The larger project
The planned output for the larger project - this may change - includes eventually a website (Eleven Named People); a print magazine'; short videos for Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok (my collaborators on this will be my 12-year son Leo and, hopefully, my 16-year-old daughter Rosa); a book manuscript; as well as a series of academic and popular essays and public exhibitions; and short pieces to be published online.
Some of my writing on sports have been published in Soccer & Society, Radical History Review, Al Jazeera English, Roads & Kingdoms, herri, The Nation, Jadaliyya, and Medium, among others, in addition to Twitter spaces and on Facebook and Youtube. A fuller bio is here.