Call for Papers | Football, Politics and Popular Culture | 2nd Annual Conference of The Football Collective @ University of Limerick, Ireland, 23–24 November 2017. Call ends 2017-09-06


Established in the UK in 2016 ‘The Football Collective’ is a dedicated International network of over 200 academics and practitioners across a range of disciplines (Sociology, Business Management, Economics and Finance, Political Science, Gender Studies, History, Social Media and Fan Studies, Corporate Governance, Musicology etc). Through sharp analysis and research it has provided a platform for thought provoking critical debate in football studies. In November 2016 the Football Collective held its first Annual Conference in Manchester.

The bodies of clubs, players and fans are enmeshed with politics. Clubs have been born as a result of population upheavals and migration; have been associated with ethno-national and religious communities, and political ideologies and parties to name but a few. In the contemporary context, football continues to be tied to political events and symbols. The ongoing movement of people into Europe has witnessed voices raised by football supporters both in support of and opposition to migration. Racism and anti-racism practices play out on and off the pitch. Broader contemporary international political controversies such as the prohibition of the flag of the Palestinian State, the wearing of symbols such as the British poppy or the commemoration of Irish Independence continue to spark controversy among player and fan communities alike.

Football also manifests at times in artefacts of music and broader popular culture. Football chants for example are a sophisticated socio-political activity, which connect to early forms of communication where humans used music, chant, and dance to bond as social groups. ‘Performance’ also has a unique ability to make difference visible and audible, and songs in particular have been shown to have powerful agency in the negotiation of ‘Self’ and ‘Other’.

Against this backdrop “Football, Politics and Popular Culture” will bring together football researchers, academics and students from across disciplines to share research findings, interests, stories, methods and to develop better research and collaboration across the Football Collective. We will also host guests from outside of the academy. Broad themes for discussion may include football and fan culture; music/chants/song; migration; representations of football in popular culture (including film and literature); football, sexualities and gender identities; racism, anti-racism and Islamophobia; football and conflict; etc.

The conference is designed to offer opportunities for all to present research, research ideas, potential projects, and innovative methods of data collection or public engagement. Thus it aims to discuss research that (a) has been undertaken, to share findings and gain insight and feedback on data analysis, representation, and potential outputs (b) is being proposed as a potential option for the Football Collective group to understand an existing issue or (c) has been published, to share findings and discuss future research needs. We particularly encourage submissions from PhD scholars and early career researchers.

    • Migration
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia/anti-Muslim racism
    • Ethno-national formation
    • Conflict (Ethno-national, Ideological, Sectarian etc.)
    • Sectarianism
    • Identities
    • Class politics
    • Gender and Sexualities
    • Fan culture
    • Political songs / chants
    • Its representation in popular culture (including film and literature)
    • Other themes relevant to the Football Collective themes



Please submit a Word document containing your paper title, a 250 word abstract, and author information including full name, institutional affiliation, email address, and a 50-word bio to by 6th September 2017. A maximum of 20 minutes will be allocated to each conference paper. Panel proposals (three presenters – 60 minutes) should include a 150 word overview and 250 word individual abstracts (plus author information listed above). We also welcome proposals for workshops, film screenings, performances etc. We particularly encourage submissions from PhD scholars and early career researchers. Notifications regarding acceptance will be sent by 15th September 2017.

Planned Academic Outputs

Dr. Martin Power is editor of the Discourse, Power, and Society book series published by Rowman & Littlefield International. It is the organisers intention to propose an edited collection arising from fully revised papers initially presented at this conference to the publisher as part of that series. It is also envisaged that conference outputs will include a special issue of a journal.

Symposium Conveners

  • Dr. James Carr, Dept. of Sociology, University of Limerick.
  • Dr. Martin Power, Dept. of Sociology, University of Limerick.
  • Dr Stephen Millar, Popular Music & Popular Culture Research Cluster, University of Limerick.

For further information please contact

Check out the conference website!

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