from play to knowledge

Anthropology Matters 8(2) is out, a special issue dedicated to “From play to knowledge”. That’s what I waited for, a professional legitimization of my learning Q3A-trickjumping, published in a respected journal of anthropology. Listen to the editorial [emphasis mine]:

It is our great pleasure to introduce this themed issue of Anthropology Matters. The five articles assembled here developed out of a workshop held at the University of Manchester, which set out to explore the role of play in ethnographic research and its transformation into different forms of knowledge. The impetus for this event had been provided by the fact that the process of conducting ethnographic research is commonly referred to as ‘fieldwork’. And yet, in our fieldsites, some of us have spent considerable amounts of time playing football or learning to dance. This irony sparked off a series of questions: Could such enjoyable pastimes really be considered a kind of work? Conversely, could any activities that were taken seriously by their practitioners be seen to be nothing but a form of play? How did the meanings of play and of work differ cross-culturally? What sorts of skills were necessary to play competently and successfully? Could play be used as a research technique? And finally, how could knowledge gained of and through play be incorporated into standard academic formats?

By the way, just to complement today’s earlier entry, Anthropology Matters is completely online for free, every article both in .html and as .pdf …

via entry at—tnx Lorenz