Play….Seriously!

Instructor: 
Emory Maiden
Day/Time Taught: 
TR 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Term: 
Fall
Year: 
2012
Prefix: 
UCO
Course Number: 
1200
Section-1: 
196

Johann Huizinga in his seminal work, Homo Ludens, suggests that “play” not only reflects culture but more importantly produces it. While he published his study in what has to be one of the least playful times in any century as Nazi Germany festers just beyond his Dutch homeland, Huizinga calls on us to reconsider behaviors fundamental to our common humanity as well as conductive to inclusiveness about culture. Play clearly stands as an important endeavor for all places and times: “play” as Greek dramatists stood at the center of crucial social and political debates. Play and game theory have been taken up as topics for academic study by psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, as well as the good people who bring us Playstation, Xbox and “Grand Theft Auto”. The course professes the notion that play has always been an essential, and thus serious, human activity, but one that lately has been deeply misunderstood, particularly as an activity for adults. The course suggests that work/play is often framed as false but influential binary creating seriously negative effects on our bodies, our minds and society. The study of play as a cultural foundation will follow the principles laid down by Huizinga and others as we read narratives that describe play’s importance in physical, cognitive and social development.

The course will follow a hybrid model, blending face-to-face meetings with online work.  We will have face-to-face class sessions a little less often than would be conventional.  On days when we are not meeting in our physical space, class members will be assigned reading and will be responding online.  In both virtual and physical settings, the course design rewards day-by-day engagement with course concerns by emphasizing discussion of assigned readings, response to online discussion forums and occasional brief but substantive discussions of readings online.

  • NOTE:  Priority enrollment is given to residents of Black and Gold Residential Learning Community. 
  • Unused seats will be available for general enrollment on 07/02/2012.

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey
mccaugheym@appstate.edu

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