CFP – Extending Play: The Sequel

Are we the species that plays—or are we better understood as the species that repeats?

Walter Benjamin suggests that, “For a child repetition is the soul of play.” Is play always at its core a form of re-play, an iteration of an earlier moment that resists a complete recurrence, yet is found in a series or sequence? We accept replication as a matter of course: Successful games and films always already have a sequel in the works, fashion is fueled by a recycling of its past, and images are increasingly manipulated to mimic the earlier eras of photographic technique. But what is the impact of these repeats, echoes, and continuations? And how do we understand the experience of play as a chain of sequels in the age of digital surrogates, cybernetic archives and networks of distributed storage? 

Extending Play: The Sequel asks how conceptions of repetition, iteration, mimesis, chronography and sequence emerge through the dynamics and modalities of play in an increasingly repetitive, yet always playful world. We aim to continue the mission of the previous Extending Play conference, to entertain all approaches to the traditions, roles, and contexts of play that extend its definition and incorporation into far-flung and unexpected arenas. With The Sequel, we hope to focus on how play is culturally reproduced, repeated, continued, remixed, recycled, resequenced, and reimagined, and how play re-orders issues of power, affect, labor, identity, and privacy.

We invite scholars, students, tinkerers, artists, visionaries, and players to the second iteration of the Rutgers Media Studies Conference: Extending Play, to be held April 17th and 18th, 2015 on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, NJ. Submissions are welcomed from scholars working in media studies and related fields across the humanities and social sciences. Our keynote conversations will include a conversation between Miguel Sicart (IT University of Copenhagen) and Anna Anthropy (Author, “Rise of the Video Game Zinesters”). Also, Marcus Boon (York University) will discuss the play of repetition with another guest who will be announced soon!

Potential topics for paper, panel, roundtable, and workshop submissions include, but are not limited to:

–Sequels, serials, remakes, covers, reprints, reissues, remixes, remasters, reprises, series, and sagas
–Media industries, including the business of sequels, franchises, and brands
–Social media and re-circulation, including memes, retweets, repins, and reblogs
–Resequencing, repetition, and the news industry
–Biomedia, genetic sequencing, and clones
–Sequels and repetition in history and historical knowledge, including global conflict, archives, and dynasties
–Mimicry, mimesis, and mirroring
–Repetition, continuation, and sequencing in digital networks, databases, and big data approaches
–Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Game Studies, Fan Studies, Critical Cultural Studies, Critical Media Studies, Critical Game Studies, and more!

Rutgers Media Studies Conference Extending Play: The Sequel promises to offer a memorable meeting of ludic inquiry, and to that end, we are looking to play with standard conference conventions. One track throughout the conference will be a series of public workshop sessions in which scholars and practitioners will host roundtable discussions on contemporary issues that bring together an audience of experts and interested parties. In the academic panel track, each presenter will have a maximum of 15 minutes to offer his or her ideas as a presentation or interactive conversation, and will choose one of the following methods of presentation:
–material accompaniment (hand out a zine, scrapbook, postcards, etc)
–performance (spoken word, song, verse, dance, recording, etc)
–limited visuals (a maximum of 3 slides and 25 total words)
–game (create rules and incorporate audience play)

For additional ideas on how to play with media, play with time, or play with space during your presentation, visit our website at mediacon.rutgers.edu.

The deadline for proposals is Friday, December 12, 2014. We invite individual proposals, full panel proposals (of four members), and proposals for roundtable and workshop sessions. Please use the submission form on our website at http://mediacon.rutgers.edu/submit/ . If you would like to submit supplementary materials, or have trouble with the form, please send a 256 word abstract to [email protected]. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by February 1, 2015.