The Artfulness of Play: Bridging Creative and Theoretical Discourses (Sept 25 - 27, 2009)

full name / name of organization: 
University of Western Ontario, Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism

Children, athletes, actors, and musicians all play. Can academics play too? What do we play? Numerous currents of contemporary thought, from Wittgenstein to Baudrillard and Derrida, highlight play as a site worthy of inquiry. However, play does not (cannot?) have a precise sense or definition, and therefore our aim will be to put ideas into play, to play with them.

Graduate students and artists are invited to participate in an interdisciplinary conference regarding the concept of play. Academic papers, artwork (visual and performance), and film (short and feature length) are welcome.

The conference will take place between Friday, September 25th, and Sunday, September 27th, 2009 at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. We are particularly interested in proposals which engage our topic in relation to Politics, Aesthetics, and Psychoanalysis, although applicants need not be limited by this suggestion.

Abstract submissions of 150 – 200 words are due May 15th, 2009. We are also accepting proposals for panel topics. If submitting a panel suggestion, please provide 3 sub-topics for a single panel in addition to recommending 3 coinciding abstracts.

Please send abstracts, along with your name, e-mail address, and institution to Please note that artworks and films must be submitted digitally, along with a description of the work. Presentations will not be required for artworks or films.

Compact disks for film and visual art proposals may be sent to conference organizers c/o Melanie Caldwell-Clark, Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, University of Western Ontario, Somerville House, Rm. 2345A, London, Ontario N6A 3K7

For further information, please visit