European Football and Collective Memory, an edited volume by Wolfram Pyta and Nils Havemann, and Spanish Football and Social Change, a monograph by Ramon Llopis-Goig are the first two books of the brand-new ‘Football in an Enlarged Research’ series published by Palgrave Macmillan, the renowned London-based global academic publishing house.
On the occasion of the launch of the series, series editors Albrecht Sonntag and David Ranc have asked Harriet Barker, commissioning editor for sociology at Palgrave Macmillan, a series of questions concerning this new publication initiative.
An entire book series based on football research – that’s an innovative initiative in international academic publishing. What motivated Palgrave Macmillan to take this step?
Football is one of the most popular and celebrated sports in the world, affecting business, economics, media, culture and society. Though the series focuses on football as a specific sport, it considers a broad range of issues from social change and memory, to gender, public space and politics.
We already have a strong publishing reputation in sports sociology, particularly in the area of Olympic studies, and wanted to further extend our outreach in this field. The goals of the ‘Football in an Enlarged Europe’ network were very fitting for a series, dedicated to understanding football as a phenomenon through a range of disciplines.
What potential do you see for this research area in the next years?
How many titles do you expect within this series?
With the rise of women’s football, mega-events such as the UEFA Champions League and the political implications of the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, football continues to be a dynamic phenomenon which has international relevance and garners significant media attention.
I hope that the series will address a large variety of issues that will mark the future of the game, including sexuality and diversity, and become the go-to interdisciplinary forum for scholarly work on football.
The series already has a wealth of projects lined up and we hope to publish approximately three each year, expanding the series over time to become as global and wide-reaching as possible.
Where does production stand right now?
Can you already let us know when the first batch of three books will be published?
The two books that are already published will be followed later this year by the third volume, entitled The European Football Championship – Mega-Event and Vanity Fair, and edited by Basak Alpan, Alexandra Schwell and Albrecht Sonntag. Further volumes are already in preparation.
On a more personal note: with a university background in poetry and literature studies, are you actually interested in football?
I am admittedly not a football expert and more likely to be found curled up with a cup of tea and a book, but I happily get involved when England are playing in international tournaments. And my partner is certainly a devoted Manchester United fan!
What I really like about the series is how football is considered through different perspectives – from fan’s experiences to national identity, from the spaces football inhabits to sport as development.