Deadline for submissions: January 15, 2017

Full name / name of organization: New England American Studies Association
Contact email:
New England American Studies Association (NEASA)– Call for Papers

Hoaxes, Humbugs, Pranks and Play: Functions and Expressions of Foolery in American Society and Culture

March 10-11, 2017

Boston University

The New England American Studies Association’s (NEASA) annual spring conference offers an opportune moment to pursue connotations of playfulness and trickery, and of enjoyment and leisure. The emergence of myriad manifestations and sites of playfulness across social sectors has profoundly impacted American society and culture. Childhood has become a playful time to be treasured; diversionary activities have come to dominate cultural products; even nostalgia has acquired a pronounced lucidity. Play is also big business: gaming, sports, and other recreation activities are their own sectors of the economy. We therefore invite contributions that interrogate, reflect on, and celebrate the changing functions and sites of playfulness and trickery in American society and culture.

Topics to consider include:

The material culture of play (boardgames, cards, videogames, etc.)
Tricksters in literature
Hoaxes and humbugs in history, politics and popular culture
“Playing” in archives and the joys of research
Playfulness and pedagogy
The disruptive power of play
Children at play
Leisure culture
Sports and play
April Fool’s Day (history, popular culture representations, etc.)

In addition to individual paper proposals, we welcome submissions for roundtable discussions, hands-on workshops, and alternative format sessions (e.g.: film screenings, 5-minute micropapers). Submissions that do not address the conference theme will also be considered.

Individual proposals should include: 150-200 word abstract, presentation title, name, institutional affiliation, and contact email. For panel/roundtable proposals, in 200-500 words, please provide: session title, its topic, format, individual paper titles (as appropriate), as well as the names, institutional affiliations, and contact emails for each individual participant. All submissions should be sent to: by January 15, 2017.

For more information regarding NEASA, please visit our website: