Conferences – Call for Papers

The Beautiful Game? Identity, Resentment, and Discrimination in Football and Fan Cultures

The Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA) at the Technical University of Berlin is calling for submissions for their conference from 11.04.2018 - 13.04.2018 in Berlin.

  • Date: 11.04.2018 – 13.04.2018
  • Institution: Technische Universität Berlin
  • Location: Berlin / Deutschland
  • Sign up with: football[at]
  • Documents to: football[at]

By all measures, football is the most prominent sport globally. The goal of this conference is to explore why and how football functions in many countries as a central societal institution beyond the physical team activity, how football interacts with society, politics, culture and economics, and what role resentment and discrimination play in this ‘beautiful game’.

A focus of this conference will be on examining the function and significance of various forms of antisemitism in football. Antisemitism finds entry in fan chants, marking opponents with the Star of David or discursively ascribing labels of ‘raffendes Kapital’ (‘money-grubbing capital’) and ‘schaffendes Kapital’ (‘productive capital’) to traditional and modern football practices. The analysis of its embeddedness in societal and political developments and comparisons with other forms of discrimination and resentment shall enable cross-fertilizations for further inquiry.

Verbal and physical attacks framed in forms of antisemitism, but also in guises of sexism, homophobia, antigypsyism, racism etc. give rise to questions of how football opens up spaces for discriminatory violence. Often considered as ‘the last male preserve’, these phenomena also invite investigations into the role gender and its constructions play in football and its fan cultures. As other sports often have equally significant byproducts and since football is not the dominant sport in a number of countries (amongst others in the US, India and Canada), comparative approaches may also prove fruitful.

The conference organisers aim to bring together a wide range of researchers from different countries, disciplines and career levels, as well as practitioners from football clubs and fan scenes to discuss, how, where, by whom and why resentment, discrimination, and antisemitism are articulated and portrayed in football and fan cultures and how such expressions are discussed and objected.

Proposals may deal with but are not limited to the following topics and questions:

  • Forms and functions of resentment and discrimination in the context of football and sports in general.
  • How does discrimination in football stadiums relate to society at large? Is this a football-specific relationship?
  • Historic developments, instances and transformations of discrimination, resentment, antisemitism, racism etc. in football and fan cultures.
  • What methods can be employed to understand and measure the scale of varying forms of discrimination today? Is discrimination in football changing today? Why (not)?
  • Who is affected by discrimination and whose behaviour is discriminatory?
  • How are antisemitic phenomena related to other forms of discrimination in the context of football?
  • Which tactics to tackle discrimination were adopted by the various actors of the game and how effective did they prove to be?

The conference will commence with a podium discussion on resentment, discrimination and identity in German football in the evening of 11 April. The podium discussion will be open to the public and conducted in German. Scholars and practitioners will present and discuss papers on 12 and 13 April. The conference will be conducted in English.

Location, Submission Guidelines and Travel:

The conference will take place in Berlin. There is no registration fee.
Please send a proposal of no more than 300 words, together with a one-paragraph career summary, scheduling restrictions and/or special/audiovisual needs for your presentation to football[at] by November 20, 2017.

Acceptance notifications will be sent out in December 2017.
Speakers will be provided with room and board in Berlin. Stipends towards travel costs will be available. A selection of conference papers will be published in an edited volume.

For further information please contact:


Please sign up by sending an email with your contact details to: football[at]

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