the rhetoric of play

v.1.1(beta)



spring 2007

ryan moeller, ph.d.

w 4:30-7:00

rwst 308


office

rwst 312b
797-8637

Jan 10

Read: J. Cohen's "The Ideas of Work and Play."
For discussion: syllabus, policies, assignments, article.

Unit 1: The Anthropology of Play

Jan 17

Read: J. Huizinga's Homo ludens: A study of the play element in culture.
For discussion: position papers.

Recommended readings: Beatty & Torbet's "The false duality of work and leisure" and Gruneau's "Freedom and constraint."

Jan 24

Read: R. Caillois' Man, play, and games
For discussion: position papers. We will meet briefly at 4:30 and continue our discussion of position papers on Syllabase. In lieu of the remainder of class, please attend as many of the following as you can: Keith Gibson's job talk at 1:00 in the Eccles Conference Center, Alan Lightman's talk at 3:00, and the reception for Gibson at the Caine House right after we meet.

Recommended readings: Landry's "Playing at learning" and Rockwell's "Serious play at hand."

Jan 31

Read: J. Ehrmann et al's "Homo ludens revisited" and C. Rojek's "Baudrillard and leisure."
For discussion: position papers, applications of anthropology and sociology of play.

Recommended reading: Rieber's "Seriously considering play."

Unit 2: The Rhetoric of Play

Feb 7

Read: B. Sutton-Smith's The ambiguity of play
For discussion: position papers, establishing a rhetoric of play.

Recommended reading: Salen & Zimmerman's "Unit 3: Play."

Feb 14

Class canceled for SW/Texas PCA/ACA conference.

Feb 21

Read: K. McAllister's Game work: Language, power, and computer game culture
For discussion: position papers, game work.

Recommended readings: Myers' "Signs, symbols, games, and play" and Squire's "Cultural framing of computer/video games."

Feb 28

Rhetorical methodology presentations: discourse analysis, ethnography, institutional critique, organizational analysis, quantitative (statistical) methods, rhetorical analysis, usability and user-centered design. This week, position papers will be in the form of presentation handouts on a particular methodology.

Unit 3: Marketing Play

Mar 7

Research proposals due.
Read: S. Johnson's Everthing Bad is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making us Smarter
For discussion: position papers, complexity in play and entertainment.

Recommended readings: Barrett's "White thumbs, black bodies" and Ondrejka's "Finding common ground."

Mar 14

Spring Break, no class

Mar 21

Class canceled for CCCC and ATTW conferences.

Mar 28

Read: Parts 1-2 of S. Kline et al's Digital Play: The Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing
For discussion: position papers, marketing play.

Recommended readings: Consalvo's "Console video games and global corporations" and Yang, et al's "The effectiveness of 'in-game.'"

Apr 4

Read: Part 3 of S. Kline et al's Digital Play: The Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing
For discussion: position papers, marketing play; course wrap-up and summary.

Recommended readings: Kozinets, et al's "Ludic agency and retail spectacle" and Leonard's "Live in your world, play in ours"

Unit 4: Professional Development

Apr 11

For discussion: academic conferences and symposia, publication, peer review.
For class: bring in 2 copies of 250 word abstract (with title) of your final paper/presentation.

Apr 18

For discussion: workshop seminar papers.
For class: post drafts of final presentation/paper to your group site in syllabase by 8:00am Tuesday (17 April).

Apr 25

Rhetoric of Play Symposium, Part I: Faculty Seminar Room, Merrill-Cazier library, 2nd floor, across from 202.

430-545
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Play Theory
David Christensen (chair), Skip Taft, and Robert Watkins.

600-7:15
Visual and Spatial Representations of Identity through Play
Amanda Bemer (chair), Troy Stoddard, and Laura Vernon.

May 2

Seminar papers due.

Rhetoric of Play Symposium, Part II: Celebration Centre, 1903 S 800 W, Logan.

430-545
Educational Aspects of Games and Game Discourse
Jason Cootey (chair), Matt Andersen, and Curtis Newbold.

545-630 and beyond
Playdium research