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Provost's Imagine Fund for Arts and Humanities

Game Studies from the Rhetorical Perspective: Research in Collaboration with the Games Institute at the University of Waterloo

Goal: As a visiting scholar at the University of Waterloo, I will present research, collaborate, and develop a research plan integrating Canadian and US traditions of communication studies at the U/Waterloo Games Institute.
-I will present developing research (some co-authored with medical anthropologist Mitra Emad, some single-authored) about board games as both form of play and tool for reinforcing cultural norms and values.
-I will collaborate with faculty and graduate students at the Institute to refine my research program, especially in light of the diverse national traditions of communication studies.
-From that collaboration, I will develop two single-authored manuscripts in Game Studies and prepare a Fulbright proposal for a subsequent year as a visiting faculty member.

Context: Game Studies is an open frontier in communication studies, both interdisciplinary and international. American scholarship, derived from rhetorical theorists like Kenneth Burke (e.g. McAllister's "Game Work: Language, Power, and Computer Game Culture") exists alongside, but not always in communication with, scholarship derived from the Canadian media studies tradition (e.g. Ian Bogost's "How to Do Things with Video Games"). The overwhelming volume of scholarship, in either case, addresses video games. I will synthesize these traditions while redirecting their critical tools and theoretical frames for the analysis board games as a medium and as a tool for reinforcing cultural norms and values.

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Writing Studies