CFP: Ludic Geographies

Over the next week, we will be posting the calls for papers and other news on the SCGRG sponsored sessions for the 2012 RGS/IBG conference.  Thank you to everyone who submitted session ideas to us. We are delighted to be sponsoring a range of innovative slots for the summer.

Ludic Geographies

Tara Woodyer, University of Exeter (

Fraser MacDonald, University of Edinburgh (

This session invites geographers to consider the ludic as more than child’s play. It is a fundamental part of human experience across the lifecourse. Though often undervalued, it is broader and more complex than common associations allow. Geographers, among others, have recently turned to play in their studies of the workplace, urban practice, consumption, public protest and geopolitics. It is present too in recent moves towards affirmative modes of critique, more-than-rational ways of working, and experimentation with creative styles of writing. Throughout this work there is a growing appreciation that the ludic is a significant geographical concern in and of itself.

Ludic Geographies draws together research that examines the relation of play to the everyday and to rationality. It aims to open up the ethical potential of play for academic analysis, creative experiment and political practice. The session notably resists a metaphysical positioning of play as in opposition to seriousness, morality and productive work, and their attendant social relations. Rather, in encouraging the geographical aspects of play alongside the playful aspects of geography, we would welcome papers that approach the ludic from diverse disciplinary, theoretical and methodological positions.

Themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • Playful approaches to well being
  • Playful approaches to environmental thinking and action
  • States of play: geopolitics, securitization, war gaming
  • Digital and networked play
  • The place of the ludic in anticipatory and utopian thought
  • The relation of the senses and/or vitality to play
  • Psychoanalysis and play
  • Toys and transitional objects
  • The role of the ludic in cultivating modes of ethical generosity and/or responsiveness
  • Experimentation with rules, roles and meaning
  • The philosophical kinship of play and critique
  • Play as a form of political praxis
  • Playful research practices
  • Engagements with the irrational/more-than-rational

If you are interested in submitting a paper to any of these sessions, please contact the session organisers as soon as possible. The final list of papers and abstracts will  to be submitted to the RGS by the 31st of January 2012.