4.  Futboleras: Women Who Changed Soccer 

Women have played soccer from the beginning of the twentieth century. Yet, for most people, their impression is that women only began playing the sport at a professional level over the last few decades. 

In this unit we will explore the long history of women’s football—from the glory days of the Dick, Kerr ladies team in England in the 1920s, to the adventurous futboleras of the 1950s, to the (unofficial) Women’s World Cup in Mexico in 1971—which set record crowds that still stand today, to the impact of Title IX on collegiate soccer in the U.S., and to the modern-era of FIFA World Cup and Olympic tournaments. We will discover the pioneers, the trailblazers, and icons that not only played soccer at the highest levels but also used their position to advance women’s rights and push for greater equality within the sport. And let’s get ready for Australia/New Zealand 2023!


  • Elsey, Brenda, and Joshua Nadel. Futbolera: A History of Women and Sports in Latin America. Place of publication not identified: University of Texas Press, 2020. ALL. [Oct 24-26]
  • CHOOSE ONE of the following:
    • Williams, Jean. The History of Women’s Football. Havertown, PA: Pen and Sword History, 2022. Chp. 2 [Oct 31]
    • Murray, Caitlin. National Team: The Inside Story of the Women Who Changed Soccer. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2019. Chps. 4-5 & 21 [Oct 31] 
    • Bunk, Brian D. From Football to Soccer: The Early History of the Beautiful Game in the United States. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2021. Chps. 6-7 [Oct 31]

End of Semester

  • [Nov 7 & 9] Individual Conferences, Individual Work – no class meetings
  • [Nov 14 & 16] Presentations – Revised Drafts
  • [Nov 21, 28, 30 & Dec 5] Lab; Primary Source Analysis (2022 World Cup); Course Wrap-up