PhD Course - Ritual, Play and Performance - an exploration of a design space
Organizers: Karin Ryding (PhD) and Miguel Sicart (Associate Professor)
Miguel Sicart, play scholar, the author of Play Matters (MIT Press) and Associate Professor at Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen
Susan Kozel is a Professor in the School of Art and Culture. She applies philosophical thought to a range of embodied practices in the context of digital media technologies. Her research takes the form of both scholarly writing and performance practices. She is the author of Closer: Performance, Technologies, Phenomenology (MIT Press 2007).
Barry Stephenson works in the field of Religious Studies, focusing on the study of ritual, religion and the arts, and religion in modernity. He is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Memorial University. He is also the author of Ritual: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press).
Dates of the course: 2 - 4th December 2019
Time: 9:30 - 15:00
The course will provide the participants with:
a) An introduction to the theory and practice of ritual, performance and play. We will among other things discuss key concepts such as liminality, performativity and framing.
b) Potentials and limits of the particular approach taken towards ritual, play and performance in the participant’s research will be discussed.
c) Design implications to the field of game design, interaction design and human-computer interaction (HCI) will be discussed.
This course explores the intimate relationship and tensions between ritual, play and performance as a dynamic design space. The focus will be on the implications for theory and practice in the fields of game design, interaction design and HCI, but the course is open to PhD students from all areas of design and artistic practices.
Richard Schechner states that "all performances exist in a creative tension between ritual and play” (2012). This illustrates the close relationship between these three activities (or patterns of behaviour) so significant to human culture. Ritual and play are similar in many ways. They both support communities and often take place separate from ordinary life. Yet, the tension that Schechner points to comes out of the fundamental difference between them. Rituals involve accepting, adjusting, or conforming to things outside of us. In contrast, play make us appropriate and create new worlds. Performances exist somewhere between the rigid structure of rituals and the freedom of play. The course address how tensions that we come across in our work often has the potential to become the most fruitful part of our research. Theory related to performance, ritual and play is used to provide interesting perspectives to tensions related specifically to the design of aesthetic and liminal experiences in different settings.
The course is three days long. Each day start with a lecture by a scholar who is a specialist within the area of ritual, play or performance. In the afternoon, there will be workshops with the purpose to carefully examine and discuss the papers submitted by the participants. Each participant is required to submit a paper that deals with an aspect of ritual, play or performance related to the PhD project in question. This can be done by analysing design experiments, but purely theoretical papers are also welcomed. A paper should be of approx. 5 pages. Papers/abstracts must be in English. Deadline is 15 November 2019.
09.30 – 10.45 Lecture
10.45 – 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 – 12.00 Lecture/Exercises
12.00 – 13.00 Lunch
13.00 – 15.30 Paper workshop
Davis-Floyd, Robbie. The Rituals of American Hospital Birth. In Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology, pp. 323-340. 8th ed., edited by David McCurdy. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.
Grimes, Ronald L. “Bridging Rituals: A Daughter’s Song.” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies13.2 (2017). http://liminalities.net/13-2/bridging.pdf>
Stephenson, Barry. “The Fortunes of Ritual,” In Ritual, A Very Short Introduction, pp. 102-116. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lugones, María. “Playfulness, ‘World’-Travelling, and Loving Perception.” Hypatia, vol. 2, no. 2, 1987, pp. 3–19. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3810013.
Nippert-Eng, Christena. “Boundary Play.” Space and Culture, vol. 8, no. 3, Aug. 2005, pp. 302–324, doi:10.1177/1206331205277351.
Stenros, Jaakko (2014): “In Defence of a Magic Circle: The Social, Mental and Cultural Boundaries of Play.” Transactions of Digital Games Research Association, Vol.1 No 2, 147-185. DiGRA. [pdf]
Susan Kozel, “Performing Affect with Augmented Reality” (Fibrecutlure Journal, 2012)
Karen Barad “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an understanding of how Matter comes to Matter” (Signs, 2003)
Judith Butler’s Notes towards a Performative Theory of Assembly (chapter to be specified)
Jams Loxley’s Performativity (2006) (chapter to be specified)
Exam: Based on the submitted paper and the participation in the course.
Credits: 4 ECTS
Amount of hours the student is expected to use on the course:
Participation: Around 18 hours
Preparation: Around 92 hours (writing a paper, reading the course literature and the other student’s papers as well as preparing comments and questions)
How to sign up: Write a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (Miguel Angel Sicart) or email@example.com (Karin Ryding).