CFP: [General] 2008 Simon Fraser University Graduate Conference - Games We Play: Strategies of the Everyday

full name / name of organization: 
Marc Acherman
contact email: 

Games We Play:
Strategies of the Everyday

Dates: May 9-11, 2008
Place: Vancouver, British Columbia

Abstract Deadline: February 7th
Submit to:

Gamesâ€"including such common diversions as organized sports, the musings of
childhood imagination, online communities and experiments with languageâ€"are
only some amongst many everyday activities that theory can use to
investigate the broader cultural concerns of race, gender or class within a
given society. Yet, the suggestive notions of “games” and “play” provide
unique and generative vocabularies for describing the everyday world.
Concepts such as rules, strategies and tactics could just as easily apply
to areas as interrelated but nonetheless diverse as capitalism, war and
gender constructions, as they could games like Monopoly, Risk or Life. The
2008 SFU graduate conference will investigate how diversionsâ€"both as
practices of and metaphors for everyday lifeâ€"work for, within or against
dominant ideological discourses.

We are seeking papers that address several key questions:

* Do games have liberating potential or do they reproduce the structures of
* How might studying the cultural representations of games and play
contribute to a better understanding of a particular moment in history?
* What productive combination, if any, can be made between theory, games
and the notion of play?
* How might games, play and the concepts attached to them come together
with the cultural, political and economic concerns of society to produce
new meanings?

Possible topics could include:

* Representations of sports and games in culture
* Relationship between play, work and capitalism
* Repetition, boredom and the suburban
* Narrative, poetic, cinematic and graphic form as play
* The culture of sports, video-games and board-games
* Arcades, fair grounds and shopping malls as public spaces of leisure/capital
* Festivals, feast-days and parades
* The Olympics
* Constructing gender and/or class through games
* The limits of reason and benefits/drawbacks of play and imagination
* Constructing production as pleasure
* Advertising and psychological mind-games
* Gambling, luck and chance
* Children and childhood play
* Technological transformation/enabling of leisure
* Irony, parody and laughter as strategic play

There will be two submission options:

Option 1: scholarly paper â€" please send abstracts of 250-300 words
Option 2: creative work â€" please send either 30 lines of poetry or a 300
word excerpt

Please send all submissions to by February 7th.
(Note that although we encourage creative submissions, preference will be
given to scholarly papers.)

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Sat Dec 29 2007 - 12:18:35 EST