18th Annual Conference fo the Australian Society for French Studies

University of Sydney
30 September-2 October, 2010

Playtime: forms, functions and theories of games
How do we define “play”? Why do we play, with whom and for whom? What forms does our playfulness adopt, and what are its cultural specificities? We take the proliferation of research activity on play and the aesthetics of entertainment as an invitation to examine their role in our culture(s).
This conference aims to explore French and francophone manifestations and strategies of play, across disciplinary and generic boundaries (literature, cinema, theatre, linguistics, philosophy, sociology, art), with particular emphasis on the social, ideological, pedagogical and aesthetic dimensions of ludicity. Artistic manifestations of playfulness and intrinsically playful practices (parlour games, board games, role-playing, video games and online gaming), whether pedagogically or socially motivated, will doubtless take centre stage. From role-play to fancy-dress, from carnival to puns, the conference will explore the affective reach of games, playfulness and ludicity, their signifying power and representational range, as well as the cultural role they… play.

We invite contributions on the following:

  • Playfulness in art, the art of playfulness
  • Masques, masks, disguises
  • Androgyny
  • Carnival, Mardi Gras and other large-scale popular events
  • Alternate realities (subversive, fantastic or hybrid)
  • Virtual realities, avatars, video and online gaming
  • Role-play, word-play, literary games (in practice and/or in the classroom)
  • Sports
  • Literary games and genres: the grotesque, the burlesque, the absurd; humour across genres
  • Jokes, novelties, pranks and hoaxes
  • Games of seduction, desire and pleasure, both intellectual and physical
  • Simulation on screen, special effects, CGI, the actor’s craft.
  • Proposals relating to other aspects of French Studies, in French or English, will be considered.
    A 250 word abstract should be sent to the following address by April 12, 2010:
    The organising committee:
    Michelle Royer, Peter Cowley, Françoise Grauby


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