Jacco van Sterkenburg is appointed as endowed professor at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC). Jacco is now endowed professor of ‘Race, Inclusion and Communication specifically in relation to football and media’ at the department of Media & Communication. Jacco elaborates on his ambitions as Chair-holder in this interview.
“Racism and social inclusion are complex phenomena that need to be addressed in different and interdisciplinary ways.”
What is the purpose of your Chair?
This Chair is established in cooperation with anti-discrimination organization Fare, world football players’ union FIFPRO and European football association UEFA. They have committed themselves to the theme of anti-racism and inclusion in football.
Key themes are for example, racism experienced by players and coaches, media and communication and the football industry. While the Chair has formally started in February 2021 already, we are currently in the process of recruitment of a PhD candidate within the project. The extensive vacancy advertisement is online and also reflects some of the wider aims.
What does this Chair mean for ESHCC?
The commitment and support of the partners is quite unique and shows how ESHCC works together with the field to address major societal challenges. The Chair is the result of ongoing conversations on anti-racism and inclusion. Especially after the Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020 and the racism that was evident across European football. It will result in innovative research and knowledge utilization opportunities, including opportunities for network building on a national and international level.
What do you hope to achieve as Chair-holder?
Racism and social inclusion are complex phenomena that need to be addressed in different and interdisciplinary ways. The research will contribute to theory building and enable European football, as well as media, to use research findings for future policies and initiatives that aim to contribute to a more inclusive football and media culture.
What are your plans for the near future?
We are currently recruiting a PhD candidate for the coming four years. The research of this PhD candidate will provide the main partners with findings enabling them to strengthen the inclusionary potential that football can have. Moreover, we supplement a focus on football with an ongoing focus on media. Currently, with colleagues, we are in the process of submitting research proposals that address such intersections, this may create further research opportunities.
ESHCC Dean Martine van Selm on the appointment of Jacco van Sterkenburg:
“Our colleague Jacco is an internationally leading scholar in the field of race, football, media, and leadership. Currently, he directs, amongst more, his NWO VIDI-project on racism and mediated football in which he combines studying the perspectives of football players, fans, and leadership with analyses of televised football.
Jacco also has an outstanding track-record when it comes to valorization activities and partnerships with societal stakeholders and is a much sought-after expert and commentator in media coverage of sport and racism. I wish Jacco lots of success in his research and teaching in the department of Media and Communication, and in further advancing societal impact activities of our School in his new capacity.”