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Beautiful Games? Putting the World Back in the World Cup

06/07 Thursday | 2pm

Start your summer off right: Join an all-star team of leading soccer scholars, scribes and talking heads as they discuss the global phenomenon that is the World Cup. On June 14 in Moscow, the 2018 FIFA Men’s World Cup will kick off with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Over the month-long tournament to follow, a global TV audience of more than 3 billion people will tune in to its games—better than 1 billion will watch the final alone. World Cup soccer remains humanity’s most popular sporting spectacle: a pastime that unites us which also serves, by hailing peaceful rivalry, to toast our difference. That, anyway, is how we’ve long viewed the World Cup. But in the wake of FIFA’s corruption scandals, the Cup’s 2018 edition will unfold in a nation that perhaps won its right to host by dubious means—and that sits, now, at the center of not a few other storms roiling world politics. What exactly, when we tune in to the World Cup this summer, are we watching? What is it, as we cheer our teams’ goals and mourn their heartbreak, that we’re doing?


2:00 PM, 5th Floor | The World without US

George Quraishi  (The Athletic)

Amy Bass (One Goal)

Franklin Foer (How Soccer Explains the World)

Moderator: Eric Klinenberg (NYU, Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge)


3:30 PM, 5th Floor | Cosmopolitans and Tribes (identity and the global game) 

Brent Hayes-Edwards (Columbia University)

Mona Eltahawy (Headscarves and Hymens)

Eric Beverley (Stony Brook University)

Moderator: Joshua Jelly-Schapiro (NYU, Institute for Public Knowledge)


5:00 PM, 5th Floor | Continent Afire (Europe, Russia, 2018) 

Daniel Levy (Stony Brook University)

Jonathan Wilson (Kick and Run)

Laurent Dubois (The Language of the Game)

Moderator: Rowan Ricardo Phillips (NYU, Institute for Public Knowledge)


6:30 PM, 7th Floor: Cocktail Hour with blazers7th floor of 20 Cooper Square

Rog Bennett (Men in Blazers)

John Green (Novelist, club sponsor)



George Quraishi is founder and editor of Howler, America’s leading quarterly magazine focused on soccer.

Amy Bass is the author of One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game that Brought a Divided Town Together, her fourth book, and a Professor of History at the College of New Rochelle. In addition to her academic work, she has written about sport and politics for SlateSalonthe Allrounder, and CNN Opinion. She hosts a weekly radio show, Conversations with Amy Bass, on WVOX, and served as senior research supervisor for NBC Olympic Sports across eight Olympic Games, winning an Emmy Award for her work at the London Olympics in 2012.

Franklin Foer has served as editor of The New Republic and is currently a staff writer at The Atlantic. His book How Soccer Explains the World was published in 2004. In 2017 Foer published World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech, which was named a New York Times notable book of 2017.

Eric Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology at New York University and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge. He is the author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living AloneFighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media, and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. His new book, Palaces for the People, will be published in the fall.

Brent Hayes-Edwards is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and the author of Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination and The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism.

Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning columnist and international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues and global feminism. She is based in Cairo and New York City. She is the author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, released April 2015 and is a contributor to the New York Times opinion pages.

Eric Beverley is an Associate Professor of History at Stony Brook University, focusing on urban studies and transnational history, and the author of Hyderabad, British India, and the World: Muslim Networks and Minor Sovereignty, c. 1850–1950.

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro is a geographer and writer. He is the author of Island People: The Caribbean and the World and the co-editor, with Rebecca Solnit, of Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas.  He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, and his work has also appeared in The New Yorker, New York magazine, Harper’s, The Believer, The Nation, Artforum, and Transition. He is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU, where he also teaches journalism.  

Daniel Levy is a Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University with interests in issues of globalization, collective memory studies, and comparative-historical sociology. He is the co-author with Natan Sznaider of Human Rights and Memory and the co-editor, with Jeffrey Olick and Vered Vinitsky-Seroussi, of The Collective Memory Reader.

Jonathan Wilson is Professor of English at Tufts University. He is the author of eight books, including A Palestine Affair, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Kick and Run: Memoir with Soccer Ball. His work has appeared in The New YorkerEsquireThe New York Times Magazine and Best American Short Stories, among other publications.

Laurent Dubois is the Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University and the author, most recently, of The Language of the Game: How to Watch Soccer. A specialist on the history and culture of France and the Caribbean, his other books include Haiti: the Aftershocks of HistoryThe Banjo, and Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France. Since 2009, he has taught a popular course on “Soccer Politics” at Duke.

Rowan Ricardo Phillips is an award-winning poet and professor of English at Stony Brook University. He is the author of The Ground and Heaven, as well as the collection of literary essays When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness. Also a sportswriter, he has written extensively on basketball and soccer and is currently writing on tennis for the Paris Review. Currently, a visiting scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU, his new book, The Circuit, will be published next fall.

John Green is the award-winning #1 bestselling author of six books including Turtles All the Way Down, Looking for Alaska, and The Fault in Our Stars. His many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. With his brother, Hank, John is one half of the vlogbrothers and co-created the online educational series CrashCourse. He plays FIFA as the Wimbly Womblys, is a member of The Dons Trust, which owns AFC Wimbledon, and also sponsors the club. You can join the millions who follow John on Twitter @johngreen or visit him online at johngreenbooks.com.

Roger Bennett was born in Liverpool and moved to the United States after university, under the thrall of Ferris Bueller, Hart to Hart, and Diff’rent Strokes. A writer, broadcaster, and filmmaker, Bennett began at ESPN and moved with Men in Blazers to NBC Sports to become the go-to interviewer for the biggest names in soccer, making films with the likes of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. He is the co-author of Men In Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica: A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America’s “Sport of the Future” since 1972, with Michael Davies.

Co-sponsored by NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

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