Other, Research

Award Winning Football Author Kicks off Georgetown’s New World Cup Lecture Series at QF

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Best selling British author, journalist, and sociologist, David Goldblatt, delivered a lecture titled “The 2022 World Cup in Qatar in Historical Perspective,” at a public webinar at QF partner, Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at 6:00 pm.

The lecture was part of the “World Cup 2022™ Lecture Series,” community engagement opportunities that are part of a broader FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ research initiative at GU-Q’s Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), launched in the run-up to the tournament in Qatar.  Headed by sports and politics expert Dr. Danyel Reiche, who has joined GU-Q as a Visiting Professor from American University of Beirut, the CIRS research initiative seeks to explore the implications of staging one of the world’s largest sporting events on the social, political, and economic development of Qatar as well as on regional and global affairs. 

Dr. Reiche also moderated the event, which focused on the significance of Qatar hosting the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East. Guest speaker David Goldblatt placed Qatar’s upcoming tournament within the history of World Cups, and surveyed the politics, economic impacts, and urban development that have accompanied the games through time.

Reflecting on the importance of connecting Qatar’s investments in education to its national sports projects, the dean of GU-Q, Dr. Ahmad Dallal, noted, “This lecture is a part of our larger research strategy to observe the developments related to the World Cup from a social science lens. It is also a great example of the important place that research and analysis have in offering insight into the events and issues of our times for both academics and the general public alike.”

David Goldblatt said: “The 2022 World Cup promises a number of firsts: first to be held in December, first in a Muslim majority country, perhaps even the first carbon neutral tournament. But in many other ways, politically above all, it stands in a long tradition, almost a century now, of World Cups as global political spectacles.”

David Goldblatt is an honorary fellow at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture, De Montfort University, Leicester, U.K., teaches for the Geneva based Football Business Academy, and is a Visiting Professor at Pitzer College, Los Angeles. A widely published author, his book “The Game of Our Lives: The Making and Meaning of English Football” (2014), was the winner of the 2015 William Hill Sports book prize, and his latest book is “The Age of Football: The Global Game in the 21st Century” (2019). 

More information about CIRS research on Qatar and the World Cup games, or to register for upcoming lectures in the World Cup 2022™ Lecture Series, as well as several other trainings and public lecture programs, are available on the university’s Virtual Hub for Global Dialogue: Engaging Communities, Finding Solutions platform. The Virtual Hub is an online initiative that comprises the university’s broad efforts to safely bring the community together for engaging discussions on a wide variety of issues.