CFP: [International] Play

full name / name of organization: 
Hanna Sommerseth
contact email:

Play: A two-day international, interdisciplinary conference hosted by the
School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of

Play is the exultation of the possible.
Martin Buber

What is play to the cat is death to the mouse.
German Proverb

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Jack Nicholson

Frivolous, serious, political, humorous, powerful: play permeates every
aspect of contemporary culture and has become a central concern within the
humanities, inspiring a variety of approaches and interpretations. When do
we play, or perhaps, when do we not play? Is contemporary culture
characterized by its playfulness? Have we always been playing? What are the
social and cultural functions of play? Can play be political or must it
always be frivolous? Is it a universal and intrinsic human activity? How do
different cultures play?
The Graduate School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the
University of Edinburgh invites you to consider the notion of play and how
it can illuminate topical concerns in the arts and humanities. Papers may
include, but are not limited to, the following:
Play and identity:
• Playboys and playgirls: gender and sexual play.
• Playing with the self: race, gender, nation, class.
• The body as playground: transformations and decorations.
Play and the arts:
• Representations of play.
• The play's the thing: performance and theatricality.
• Playing with representation: from avant-garde to postmodernism.
Playing the game:
• Playing the field: sport and play.
• Leisure and organized play.
• From Mancala to Majong to Mario: the games people play.
• the internet as playground.
Play and philosophy:
• Philosophy in play; play in philosophy.
• The limitations of play: play as a finite concept.
• Language games.
Play and transgression:
• Playing with fire: dangerous play, serious play, subversive play.
• The carnivalesque.
• Parody and satire.
Keynote Speaker: to be confirmed.
A selection of papers from the conference will be published in a special
issue of Forum, the University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture
and the Arts.
Please submit a title and an abstract of no more than 300 words by the 29th
of February 2008 to Each paper should be
approximately 20 minutes in length.
We also accept proposals for panels. To propose a panel, please include a
an abstract consisting of no more than 500 words, outlining the proposed
theme and formation of the panel, and including individual abstracts of no
more than 300 words for each of the papers. Each panel should consist of
three 20 minute papers.

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Received on Fri Jan 18 2008 - 11:13:43 EST

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