2023 Conference

Call for Presentation Proposals 2023

Conference Theme: Playship: A Pathway For Building and Sustaining Equitable Playful Spaces
May 17-19, 2023
Place: Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City, New York
Types of Presentations:
Research Session (50 minutes)
Research sessions include individual presentations on new or ongoing research related to play and play provision. Individual presenters will be given time to share their original research (i.e., systematically designed, generalizable studies employing sound methodologies and data analysis practices). Multiple (2-3) presenters will be assigned to one session with a discussant. The first part of the session will allow researchers to present their work for 10-15 minutes. The second part of the session will be for a discussion led by a discussant.
Workshops (50 minutes)
Workshops emphasize learning by doing and allow participants to explore topics in depth through hands-on activities, reflection, and discussion. Proposals should include a detailed outline describing the types of learning activities and interactions you plan.
Roundtable/Symposium presentations sessions (50 minutes)
Similar to the Research Session in which there are multiple presenters. However, the roundtable sessions are self-organized, with 2-4 presenters and one self-selected facilitator. This is designed for participants to engage in an academic discussion on a specific topic of common interest. The roundtable discussions allow participants to get together in an informal setting to examine issues related to play and play provision research. The proposal must include an outline of the presentations and provide time for discussion.
Pre-Recorded poster presentations via CANVAS (15-20 minutes)
Recorded poster session presentations will include a pre-recorded audio or video presentation with PowerPoint or other digital visuals. The research applied research, action research, play advocacy events or programs, and the practice and promotion of the necessity of play will be accepted.

Please submit your proposal with the following information:

  • Current contact information and a brief bio for the main presenter or facilitator
    and all co-presenters
  • Presentation title (no more than 10 words)
  • Type of presentation
  • Session abstract- 150-250 words
  • Session description 350-500 words
    o Provide a conceptual framework for your work.
    o List expected outcomes for session participants.
    o Outline the session activities and plan for interaction.
    o Approval of Recording Session and Photos

Submission Deadline: January 20, 2023
Acceptance Notification: February 13, 2023
Please submit your proposal here:
We create equitable playful spaces when we make room for different and varied experiences and opportunities. Through equitable playful spaces, we can hope to build a culture of care within which each individual can thrive as fulfilled members of society. We therefore have a responsibility to advance equity. We do this best when we are effectively supported and when our wider communities embrace diversity and full inclusion as strengths, uphold fundamental principles of fairness and justice and work to eliminate structural inequities that minimize diverse experiences and limit equitable opportunities.

Advancing equity requires understanding broader societal contexts, individual and group biases, and how historical and current inequities have colored our experiences. Playship is a state or condition that positions individuals with the skills and ability to create playful spaces by eliminating biases rooted in our nation’s social, political, economic, and educational structures. Playship creates an environment where all
members feel welcome, valued, and caring for each other. This playful environment promotes opportunities to learn where and how injustice and inequality operate and advocates equity and inclusion.

Researchers, practitioners, activists, and advocates from a wide range of disciplines, including anthropology, education, eldercare, healthcare, social work, sociology, psychology, and zoology, will gather at this conference to share their playfulness, research, practices, and thoughts for “Playship” and as a pathway for building and sustaining equitable, peaceful, accepting, and playful spaces. The conference calls upon advocates, practitioners, and multidisciplinary scholars exploring the potential of play in creating a new world to contribute empirical papers, posters, symposia, and workshops that capture the dimensions of this process.
The Association for the Study of Play recognizes and celebrates the diversity of research and perspectives on the study of play. We believe that diverse perspectives enhance new knowledge and understanding. Our goal is to create an inclusive online conference environment that invites participation from scholars of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, nationalities, and sexual orientations. We strive to create a learning space where participants are treated with respect and dignity, and all individuals are provided an equitable opportunity to participate and contribute.

Topics can include play and its relation to current contexts, such as (but not limited to)
the following:
● Animal Play
● Anti-racist, Anti-bias, and Inclusive Play
● Children’s Voice and Participation in Play
● Climate Change and Play
● Historical and Future Contexts of Play
● Play and Social-Emotional Learning
● Play Environments
● Play in Education
● Play in Healing and Mental Health
● Play Rights Across the Lifespan
● Risk and Freedom in Play
● War, Political Unrest, and Play

Past Conferences

YearPresidentMeeting SiteKeynote
2021Smita MathurVirtual (due to COVID-19)Lois Holzman, Kerry Ann Escayg
2020San Antonio, TX (Cancelled due to COVID-19)
2019Walter DrewHarrisonburg, VASugar Mitra
2018Rich WorchMelbourne, FLPeter Gray
2017Carrie LobmanRochester, NYBernie De Koven, Montana Miller
2016Eva NwokahNew Brunswick, NJCathy Salit
2015Marcia NellSan Antonio, TXHoward P. Chudacoff, Gail F. Melson
2014Myae HanRochester, NYStephen Siviy, Phillips Stevens, Jr.
2013John SutterbyNewark, DEGarry Chick
2012Dana GrossAlbuquerque, NMBill Corsaro
2011Michael PatteeThe Strong, Rochester, NYBowen White
2010John SutterbyAtlanta, GAStuart Brown
2009David KuschnerBrownsville, TX
2008Dorothy SlussTempe, AZ
2007Rochester, NYJoe Frost
2006Olga JarretSt. Catherines, Ontario, CanadaJune Factor
2005Olga JarretSanta Fe, NMPaul McGhee
2004Jim JohnsonAtlanta, GA
2003Charleston, SCMimi Bloch
2002Jim ChristieSanta FE, NMArtin Goncu
2001Diane ParhamSan Diego, CABernie DeKoven
2000Dorothy SlussBaltimore, MDBrian Sutton-Smith
1999Linda A. HughesSant a Fe, NMPeter K. Smith
1998Alice M. MeckleySt. Petersburg, FLGarry Chick
1997Alice M. MeckleyWashington, DCBrian Sutton-Smith
1996Stuart ReifelAustin, TXJoe Frost
1995Margaret C. DuncanSalzburg, AUSTRIABrian Sutton-Smith
1994Dan HilliardAtlanta, GA
1993Don LytleSt . Paul, MNDon Hellison
1992Garry ChickParis, FRANCE
1991Rob LavendaCharleston, SCDon Handelman
1990George EisenLas Vegas, NV
1989Ann Marie GuilmettePhiladelphia, PAMax Kaplan
1988Kendall BlanchardBerkeley, CAMary Catharine BatesonAlan Dundes
1987Jay MechlingMontreal, Quebec,CANADARichard Schechner
1986Frank ManningTempe, AZGershon Legman
1985Bernard MergenWashington, DCRobert Coles
1984Gary Alan FineClemson, SCBernard De Koven
1983Brian Sutton-SmithBaton Rouge, LARoger Abrahams/Sir Edmund Leach
1982Andrew W. MiracleLondon, Ontario, CANADARobert Fagen
1981Alyce Taylor CheskaFort Worth, TXVictor Turner
1980John LoyAnn Arbor, MINorman Denzin
1979John M. RobertsHenniker, NHMihaly Csikszentmihalyi
1978Helen B. SchwartzmanSouth Bend, INDon HandelmanJohn M. Roberts
1977Phillips Stevens, Jr.San Diego, CAGregory Bateson
1976B. Allan Tindall/Phillips Stevens, Jr.Atlanta, GABrian Sutton-Smith
1975Michael A. SalterDetroit, MIEdward Norbeck
1974B. Allan TindallLondon, Ontario, CANADAOrganizational Meeting

Past Conference Program Archives


Past Conference Material Archives

Materials from 2006 Conference: The following represent examples of the excellent play research presented at the 2006 conference. These are works in progress in most cases and cannot be used without the expressed permission of the author(s).

Powerpoint Slides


Past Conference Videos

Peter Gray Keynote from 2018 Conference

Tom Henricks Keynote from 2018 Conference

Past Conference Photos

2018 Conference Photos

2016 Conference Photos