Working Panel Proposal
Proposed by Mahshid Mayar
With the CfP for the 2017 ASA focusing on pedagogies of dissent, I would like to propose a panel on the affinities of play and playfulness with learning and unlearning. At the heart of this panel proposal, perched at the intersection of game studies and American studies, are the following concepts:
- Playfulness as the driving force behind dissent in learning environments
- forms of American play as inherently dissenting and/or subversive on the noumenal/conceptual level, as Rachel Shields (2015) has argued
- The pleasures and politics of rule-breaking, cheating, and walk-throughs in analogue and digital games
- The American hacker and modder scene as dissent/re-learning
- Historical aberrations in how games are played as un-learning and dissent
- Inter-racial play and defiance toward race politics
Focusing on play as a cultural driver of human cultures, in the Huizingan sense of the term (1938), Playing Against the Grain intends to engage Americanists in discussions about historical and contemporary, conceptual and empirical forces of play which lend themselves to dissent, defiance, and subversiveness. From political language games to claiming urban backyards as playgrounds, and from modding the Fallout video game series to pirating best-seller titles such as Age of Empires, dissent is at the heart of play – examples and reflections of which abound in American life, past and present.
Young and established scholars in the field of American studies, game studies, media studies, history, sociology, and beyond are invited to submit their abstracts (300 words plus a 2-page CV) to email@example.com by January 15, 2017.
The proposed panel will consist of 4 paper or poster presentations of 20 minutes each.
Selected contributors will be notified by January 25, 2017 at which time the panel will be submitted to the ASA.
For further information on the ASA 2017, which will take place in Chicago, please see https://www.theasa.net/annual-meeting/years-meeting/years-theme.
Information about my research and teaching interests can be found at http://wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/mmayar/.
Postdoctoral Fellow/Assistant Professor
North American Literature and Culture
Bielefeld University, Germany