NewsOnline | DepartmentResearch

Playfulness across Media - International Research Workshop 2 to 3 December 2020

Call for Papers - Deadline 31 Oct
Playfulness across Media

International Research Workshop 2 to 3 December 2020 Online via Zoom

In order to submit a paper proposal, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words and a brief bibliographical note of approx. 100 words to Jan-Noël Thon at by 31 October 2020 at the latest.
“Playfulness” is a bona fide example of a travelling concept (Bal 2002), with a complex conceptual history that ranges from anthropology and psychology (e.g., Lieberman 1977; Sutton-Smith 1997) via literary theory (e.g., Stewart 1979; Hutchinson 1983) to the interdisciplinary field of game studies (e.g., Ensslin 2014; Sicart 2014).
While there are thus evidently many different ways to approach the question what it means for humans or other animals to think, perceive, and/or behave “playfully,” even a brief look at our current media culture—with its increasing erosion of the border between work and play, its subversion of the notion of distinct media and established genre conventions, as well as its promises of new forms of creative and political participation— clearly demonstrates that this question is indeed still worth asking. Accordingly, we invite 20-minute papers on a broad range of topics under the general umbrella of “playfulness,” including (but certainly not limited to):

• Theories of playfulness from game studies and beyond
• Playful aesthetics across media forms (games, comics, films, etc.)
• Playfulness as a mode of production across the creative industries
• Playfulness as a mode of reception in participatory culture/fan cultures
• Playfulness in “serious” contexts (gamification, protests, etc.)
Works Cited 
Bal, Mieke. 2002. Travelling Concepts in the Humanities: A Rough Guide. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Ensslin, Astrid. 2014. Literary Gaming. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Hutchinson, Peter. 1983. Games Authors Play. London: Methuen.
Lieberman, J. Nina. 1977.Playfulness: Its Relationship to Imagination and Creativity. New York: Academic Press.
Sicart, Miguel. 2014. Play Matters. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Stewart, Susan. 1979. Nonsense: Aspects of Intertextuality in Folklore and Literature. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Sutton-Smith, Brian. 1997. The Ambiguity of Play. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Jan-Noel Thon Professorial Fellow
School of Film, Media and Performing Arts