Wouldn’t it be great if there were something we could do that could teach us how to work together? Kinetic play, sports, physical games, and other activities where interacting with each is central to the experience, can unite us and can show us how to disagree with respect. But there’s a catch: too much attention to winning turns sports from play into work; too much attention to winning can be stressful and can promoted deception and even violence. In this presentation, author, professor, and martial artist Janet O’Shea shows us how physical play shows us to compete without needing to win and how to disagree with respect.
Author, martial artist, and amateur neuroscientist Janet O’Shea is author of At Home in the World: Bharata Natyam on the Global Stage, co-editor of the Routledge Dance Studies Reader (second edition), and a member of the editorial review board for the Routledge Online Encyclopedia of Modernism. Having recently received a UCLA Transdisciplinary Seed Grant to study martial arts and cognitive function, she is currently working on a project entitled Risk, Failure, Play: What Martial Arts Training Reveals About Proficiency, Competence, and Cooperation. Her essays have been published in three languages and six countries. In addition to academic writing, she has published general non-fiction, dance journalism, and short fiction. She is Professor of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA.