This is a past event.

Humanities Spotlight on Scholars 

When: Tue., Dec. 3, 4:30-6 p.m. 2013
The soccer FIFA World Cup comes to Brazil next summer, and of the 32-nation playing field, six will be South American countries. In a recent handicapping of the contestants, the U.K. Guardian placed five South American teams in the top 12 (the United States was rated No. 15). The field also includes three Latin countries from the North American confederation: Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico.

That South America is a soccer hotbed is not news, but next summer's spectacular carries the potential to reverberate beyond the confines of pure sporting interest. Protests have roiled Brazilian cities for the past couple of years, as the full scale of the nation's investment has become known. As Brazil's social needs go unmet, billions are being spent on stadiums located in places of questionable long-term utility, and residents, often poor, are being uprooted to make way for the construction. There's much more, documented fully on a blog called Hunting White Elephants that's operated by onetime Indy freelancer Christopher Gaffney, who now lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. (Visit geostadia.com.)

We can't say with certainty whether N.C. Central professor Josh Nadel will go into detail about the unrest in Brazil, but this 90-minute event, part of the UNC Humanities Spotlight on Scholars series, promises to unpack "the politics of the popular sport and explain its appeal and the myriad fascinating intersections between politics and athletics." —David Fellerath

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