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Anna Beresin has two PhDs from the University of Pennsylvania, one in the Psychology of Education, and one in Folklore.  She is known for really bad puns.
University of the Arts
Psychology and Folklore
School of Critical Studies, 2018- Present
Division of Liberal Arts, 2015-2018
Associate Professor
Division of Liberal Arts, 2005-2015
Lecturer, Multimedia
Lecturer, Industrial Design
Assistant Professor
Division of Liberal Arts. 1999-2005
Founding Co-Director
NEUARTS: Neighborhood Engagement
at The University of the Arts, 2014-Present
  • UARTS President's Award for Excellence, 2018
  • Fortune Foundation, 2018
  • Zeldin Foundation, 2014, 2017
  • Dolfinger Foundation 2016,
  • 2017 Beneficial Foundation, 2017
  • Harry Chapin Foundation 2017
  • UARTS Provost Grant Award, Eleven times through 2017
  • Opie Award, American Folklore Society,
  • 2012 Society for American Music, Sight and Sound Fund, 2010
  • Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award, 2004
Rutgers University
Adjunct Professor
Graduate Program, Childhood Studies. 2011-Present
University of Pennsylvania
Adjunct Professor
College of Liberal and Professional Studies 2005-2017
Center for Folklore and Ethnography. 2005-2013
Department of Folklore. 1994-2005
Graduate School of Education. 1992-95
University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. in Human Development, Child Cultures, Graduate School of Education
Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Joint degree, conferred with distinction, 1993
Phi Delta Kappa Award for Outstanding Dissertation, 1994
Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Award, 1992
Harvard University
Graduate School of Education
MA M.Ed. in Human Development, Interactive Technology. 1986
Tufts University
Jackson College
B.A. summa cum laude. Dual major, Child Study and Sociology. 1983
The Character of Play. Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education. To be published Spring 2019.
Group Motion In Practice. Editor, with Brigitta Herrmann, Manfred Fischbeck, and Elia Sinaico. McFarland. 2018.
The Art of Play: Recess and The Practice of Invention. Temple University Press. 2014.
Recess Battles: Playing, Fighting, and Storytelling. University Press of Mississippi. 2010. Reprinted 2011. Winner of the Iona and Peter Opie Award, American Folklore Society, 2012.
"Play Signals, Play Moves: A Gorilla Critique of Play Theory.” With Kristen Farley-Rambo, Gorilla Keeper of the Philadelphia Zoo. International Journal of Play, March 2019.
"The Lifework of Brian Sutton-Smith." With Fraser Brown and Michael Patte. The Cambridge Handbook of Play: Developmental and Disciplinary Perspectives. Ed. Peter K. Smith. Ed. Jaipaul Lalla Roopnarine. January 2019.
“O.P.: Collection as Celebration of Children’s Self-Organized Play.” Essay in Honor of the Work of I. and P. Opie. The Lifework and Legacy of Iona and Peter Opie: Research into Children's Play. Ed. Julia C. Bishop, Ed. June Factor Routledge, 2018. Reprint of International Journal of Play. Issue 3, 2014.
"Sound Ideas: A Folk Arts Response to Taboo Rhythm Games at School." Journal of Folklore and Education. Vol. 5, Issue 2. 2018. "A Playful Introduction" International Journal of Play. Vol 7,2 and Vol 7.1, 2018.
“Playing with Time,” International Journal of Play, Special Issue Reprint, Fifth Anniversary Issue, February 2017. Reprinted from July 2016.
“Inventing the Discipline While You Break it Down: An Essay in Honor of Brian Sutton-Smith.” Children’s Folklore Review. (37), 2015
“Pen Tapping: Forbidden Folklore.” Journal of Folklore and Education. (2) 2015
“Playgrounds” in Youth Cultures in America. Simon Bronner, and Cindy Dell Clark, eds. Santa Barbara: ABC- CLIO. 2015.
“Play Counts: Pedometers and the Case for Recess.” International Journal of Play. August 2012, Issue 1 (2).
“Play,” Oxford Bibliographies On-Line. Oxford University Press. July, 2012.
“Children’s Museums and Children’s Bodies,” Childhood Under Construction, ed, Drew Chappell, Peter Lang. 2010.
“Charades,” Encyclopedia of Play, ed, Rodney P. Carlisle. Sage. 2009.
“Teasing,” Encyclopedia of Play, ed, Rodney P. Carlisle. Sage. 2009.
“School Power, Children’s Play, and the Timing of Recess Violence” in The Cultural Shaping of Violence, ed, Myrdene Anderson. Purdue University. 2004.
“Children’s Expressive Culture in the Light of 9/11/01.” Special Issue of the Anthropology and Education Quarterly. 33 (3) 331-337, 2002.
“Folk Games,” “Folk Toys” Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Forms, Methods and History, ed. Thomas A. Green. ABC-CLIO. 1997. 393-401; 494-499.
“’Sui’ Generis: Mock Violence in an Urban School Yard,” Children’s Folklore Review. Vol 18, No. 2. Spring 1996. 25-35.
“Double Dutch and Double Cameras: Studying the Transmission of Culture in an Urban School Yard” in Children’s Folklore: A Source Book, ed. Brian Sutton-Smith, et al, Garland Press. 1995. 75-91.
Committee Member, by Invitation, The University of the Arts, Current
Critical Studies Advisory Committee
Innovation Committee
Middle States Steering Committee
Provost Hiring Committee
University Promotion Committee
Scientific Inquiry Foundation Training (SIFT), Chair
Co-Editor, The International Journal of Play, by Invitation. 2016-Present
Consultant/Lecturer on Children’s Play, by Invitation, 2010-Present
Canadian Journal of Children's Rights
Charter Schools
Community Design Collaborative
Genius of Play
Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education
Journal of American Folklore
Kendal Boomer Generation Radio
Painted Bride Art Center
Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Association
Please Touch Museum
Pennsylvania Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development
Radio Times Recess Access
Regional Private School School District of Philadelphia
Smith Memorial Playground
Teachers College Press
Programs & Courses
Co-designed at the University of the Arts
SIFT: Scientific Inquiry Foundation Training courses are interdisciplinary introductions to scientific inquiry related to a specific theme.
CRIT: Critical Perspectives CRIT courses are thematic courses related to critical approaches in the humanities.
SOCI: These are electives reflecting specific disciplines in the social sciences.
NEUARTS: Neighborhood Engagement at The University of the Arts brings undergraduates into the local community to work with children.
SPECIAL TOPICS: Such courses were created by invitation to work with specific programs.
SIFT Courses
Created and Taught

SIFT: Observing Children

SIFT: Observing Humans

SOCI: Adult Psychology

SOCI: Child and Adolescent Psychology

CRIT: Analyzing Talk

CRIT: Folklore and Folk Art

NEUARTS: Art Stories/Kid Stories

SPECIAL TOPICS: Body Space: How the Body Negotiates Space


SPECIAL TOPICS: People and Paradox

Conference Papers (Recent)
International Forum on Recess Research, The International Play Association, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. September 2017
“The Microphysics of Unfreedom at School.” Conference on Diverse Unfreedoms and Their Ghosts. Rutgers University, Camden. March 2017.
“NEUARTS Collaborative Studio”: Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Washington, DC. February 2017.
Visiting Scholar, American Association of Primatologists, Chicago, IL. June 2016.
“Not Heard: Listening to Unspoken Motifs in Children’s Noise and Rebellious Quiet at School.” American Folklore Society, Miami, FL. October 2016.
“Play Signals, Play Moves.” The Association for the Study of Play. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, March 2016.
“Recess Research: Historical, Sociological, and Anthropological Perspectives on Play at School.” Society for Research in Child Development. Philadelphia, PA. March 2015.
“Art Stories/Kid Stories: Neighborhood Engagement at UARTS.” American Folklore Society, Santa Fe, NM. November 2014.
“The Art of Play: The Advocacy of Recess Access” International Play Association, Istanbul, Turkey. May 2014.
“Recess Research: Play, Parity, Policy” Chair of panel, American Education Research Association. Philadelphia, PA. April 2014.
“The Art of Play: A Community Conversation about Invention as Intervention.” Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA. December 2013.
Keynote, “What We Kids Do”: Children’s Folklore and the Study of the School Yard. Ohio State University, September 2013.
Visiting Scholar, American Association of Primatologists, San Juan. June 2013. Keynote, Child Space Conference on Play. La Salle University, April 2013.
“The Play of Ideas: Words of Working Artists, Images by Children.” Extending Play Conference, Rutgers University, April 2013.
“Documenting Children’s Culture: Challenges and Cheats,” The Association for the Study of Play/ IPA USA . University of Delaware, March 2013.
Programs & Courses
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