Tag Archives: football

‘Ultras despite being women’

What is the position of women in the groups of football fans in Italy called the ultras? Newspaper reports of ultra activities emphasise the men and the systems of power, exchange and violence they manage. But women belong to the groups too, often from a very early age. Can they accede to positions of responsibility, issue orders, organise the rituals of fandom on and off the pitch or do they play a subordinate role at every point? Can they have anything that corresponds to a career in such groups? Ilaria Pitti interviewed the women at the core of one group (in Serie A but not specified) to track their perspective on their lives. Her report, ‘Being women in a male preserve: an ethnography of female football ultras‘ (Journal of Gender Studies, Volume 28, 2019, 3) considers the options which women themselves see as available and acceptable.


Cultura, caffè, calcio: the Monash Prato experience

Luke Bancroft   Monash University

Bancroft photo

La curva Fiesole, 2 December 2012

A colleague of mine once told me that I was the odd one out.  It was early one evening, about mid-way through my first semester of tutoring, and I was having a bit of a vent because my students weren’t as engaged as I had hoped they would be.  ‘Remember’, she said, ‘you can’t expect them to be as interested in it as you are…it’s what you do.’  It made perfect sense to me then, and ever since I have tried to be mindful of the fact that a good teacher/tutor/mentor/whatever must always consider the complexities of keeping their students engaged.  Surely having a happy and interested student is half the battle…right?  Whilst this may be a strange place to start a post on five weeks spent assisting forty-five students explore the Renaissance in Tuscany, there was definitely a lesson in those words that resonated.

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Remembering Gianni Brera

The twentieth anniversary of the death in a road accident of Gianni Brera – gioânnbrerafucarlo, as he sometimes signed himself – was commemorated today by the newspaper for which he worked for the last ten years of his life, La Repubblica. Born ‘a legitimate son of the river Po’ in San Zenone al Po (Pavia) on 8 September 1919, he had a very successful career as a sports journalist (he was appointed editor of the Gazzetta dello Sport aged 30), using his literary skill, creativity and knowledge to become Italy’s most famous exponent of the art. His first books were on cycling (published at the time of the rivalry between Coppi and Bartali) and athletics, but thereafter he dedicated himself to football where he became as well-known as the players on whom he wrote his countless columns.

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