The Beautiful Game: The Poetics and Aesthetics of Soccer in Transnational Perspective

Country: Switzerland

City: Basel

Abstr. due: 14.12.2015

Dates: 30.06.16 — 02.07.16

Area Of Sciences: Cultural science;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Department of English, University of Basel


This conference, scheduled to take place during the 2016 European Championship and hosted by the University of Basel’s Department of English, takes up soccer with a special focus on its poetics and aesthetics. The conference particularly seeks to scrutinize the poetics and aesthetics of the game in light of comparative as well as transnational, transcontinental, and global perspectives. In doing so, it aims to shed light on the poetics and aesthetics of all aspects of soccer, from the actual game to fan chants and choreographies, from representations in the arts to the aesthetics of media coverage, from the poetics of live commentary to institutional image cultivation (MLS, FIFA, UEFA, etc.), from aspects of design (jerseys, balls) to recent developments in stadium architecture. Given this range and diversity of the forms in which the poetics and aesthetics of soccer manifest themselves, the conference by necessity is interdisciplinary in nature, with possible contributions coming from fields such as literary and cultural studies, philosophy, linguistics, visual studies and the arts, design, and architecture to name but a few.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
• the poetics and aesthetics of the game
• “skill,” “creativity,” “intuition,” and “style” in soccer
• soccer and the notions of the beautiful and the sublime
• fan chants
• fan choreographies
• Ultra aesthetics
• the aesthetics (and politics) of institutional image cultivation via the staging of events such as opening ceremonies, fixture draws, player award ceremonies, etc.
• languages of/in soccer
• the poetics and rhetoric of soccer live commentary
• the poetics, rhetoric, and aesthetics of soccer media coverage
• representations of soccer in the arts (including literature and film)
• the aesthetics of stadium architecture
• design in soccer: jerseys, balls, gear, club emblems, etc.

Conference Web-Site: