Emory Maiden
Day/Time Taught: 
MWF 12:00-12:50
Course Number: 

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 conducive to inclusiveness about culture. "Play" clearly stands as an important endeavor for all places and times: "plays" by 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 a false but influential binary creating seriously negative effects on our bodies, or 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.


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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

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