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American Studies Spring Symposium: The American Play Ethic

American Studies
257 Fenton Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3848

 The American Play Ethic

Art Car Lineup

Photo credit Ed Schipul,, used under this license

American Studies Symposium, 2012

March 22nd, 23rd,

SUNY Fredonia Campus

We all know about the American Work Ethic. But how do leisure, play and gaming activities shape and define American identity and culture? This symposium brings faculty and students from different disciplines together to play around with that question.

Thursday, March 22nd

4:30-5:30pm, McEwen 209, Reception after

William Gleason

"Ain’t We Got Fun? American Culture and the Spirit of Play,"

Keynote talk by William Gleason

William Gleason is Professor of English at Princeton University, where he is also currently Acting Director of the Program in American Studies, and Associate Faculty in the Center for African American Studies and the Princeton Environmental Institute. At Princeton he teaches courses on American literary history, popular literature, children’s literature, place and environment, and sport and society. He is the author of two books, The Leisure Ethic: Work and Play in American Literature, 1840- 1940 (Stanford 1999) and Sites Unseen: Architecture, Race, and American Literature (NYU Press, 2011); and he is co-editor of the forthcoming volume, Keywords in the Study of Environment and Culture. Gleason is a former recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities research fellowship and a Howard Foundation Fellowship, and while at Princeton he has received both a Graduate Mentoring Award and also the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Friday, March 23nd

Faculty Panels

Horizon Room, Williams Center

Mira Berkley, Education, "Why Do I Have to Defend Young Children's Right to Play?"
Michael Kelley, CIS, "The Evolution and Rediscovery of Play in America"
Bruce Klonsky, Psychology, "Sport Psychology, A Playful Introduction"

Ellen Litwicki, History, "The Material Culture of Play"
Kathleen McDonough, Communication:  "Bloomer Humor: The Gilded Age Bicycle Craze in the Popular Press"
Respondant: William Gleason

12:30-1:30 Lunch (on your own)

Julia Wilson, Mathematics, "When Computers Judge Beauty"
Neil Feit, Philosophy, "The Expected Value of Gambling"
Richard Jankowski, Political Science, "Gaming the System"

2-2:30 Refreshments servedLuna Park, Coney Island

Student Sessions

Horizon Room, Williams Center

Student poster sessions
Student games, demonstrations and activities and activities

Dods Gym
Mary Mazur's Zombie Apocalypse Workout!

Horizon Room, Williams Center
Student Awards, Prize-winning presentations

Jennifer Golabek, English, MA Candidate, "Creating the Coterie: Identity and Creation through Tabletop Role Playing Games"

James Fefes, Sean Wignall, Brandon Artymowycz, Cory Campbell, Tyler Vail, Nathaniel Darling, Mark Mackey, Dylan Penner, Computer and Information Sciences, "SUNY Raptor, An Augmented Reality Game"

Mary Mazur, BFA Acting/Journalism/"Zombie Apocalypse Workout"

5:30-6:30 reception, Horizon Room

All events are free, and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS), and supported through Convocation as part of this year's "Risks and Rewards" series, as well as through the Mary Louise White Foundation.We also wish to thank Bruce Simon, Saundra Liggins, Julie Sticek, Roger Byrne, Academic Affairs, The English Department, FSA, the Registrar's Office, Public Relations, Publication Services, for good advice, support, and patience.

Page modified 12/7/15