“Goal Dreams: Conflicting Development Imaginaries in Ghanaian Football Academies”
Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Philosophy, and Religion, Oregon State University | Honorary fellow at the UW-Madison African Studies Program
Focusing on Ghanaian football academies, this presentation examines the role dreams and aspirations play in shaping development schemes and in determining their impact. As this presentation will show, football ignites the hopes and imaginations of Ghanaian entrepreneurs, young men and women, their parents, and supporters, and these imagined futures give birth to development initiatives. Football academies attract participants and provide them with opportunities to articulate their own aspirations. As such, it is vital for researchers and practitioners to understand how a variety of imagined futures comes into play in development schemes, as the conflicts and negotiations between divergent imaginaries explain how schemes emerge and evolve, as well as what marks they leave upon communities.
Itamar Dubinsky is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University, and an honorary fellow at the UW-Madison African Studies Program. Itamar examines the intersections of sport and society, culture, politics, and economy in Africa, with a prime focus on Ghana. His studies have been published in numerous journals, including Children’s Geographies, The International Journal of the History of Sport, and The Journal of Modern African Studies, with two forthcoming articles to be published in African Diaspora and African Studies Review. His first book, which examines Ghanaian football academies from an Africapitalistic perspective, is currently under review at UW-Press.