Pop and Play

Season 4

This April 9, another season of Pop and Play is about to roll into your podcast feeds! This season, Haeny and Nathan are exploring how play allows people to try on roles they might not otherwise experience in their lives. With another set of great guests, they learn about Drag, Cosplay, Young Adult fiction, Immersive Theater Design and more. They even travel to a far away galaxy (...Orlando). And of course they play games and find out “what’s poppin.” Follow now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or search “Pop and Play” wherever you listen to Podcasts and subscribe!

Haeny
Nathan, why are you in the studio dressed as a wizard?

 

Nathan
Dressed as a wizard? Oh, this old thing?

 

Haeny
And, are you growing a suspicious, measly little beard.

 

Nathan
A measly beard? Ugh, well, this season of Pop and Play, we're talking about role playing.

 

Haeny
I mean, playing roles.

 

Nathan
Right, role playing.

 

Haeny
No, playing roles.

 

Nathan
I feel like we're saying the same thing.

 

Haeny
No. ‘Cause this season is not just about Dungeons and Dragons, tabletop games and live action role play, although important. It's about playing different roles and how it informs our work and our lives, allowing us to try on and try out different parts of ourselves that we've yet to discover, make public, or claim.

 

Nathan
There are so many different ways in which we all play roles, and in this season of Pop and Play, we dig into many of them. Some people play roles on stage and perform various identities that we might not have imagined yet, like actors or drag queens, and some of us play games with others as a form of community and self-discovery.

 

Haeny
Some of us play with fashion and clothes and attend cosplay conventions to show our skills and grow our craft through admiration and feedback. Some of us play with characters through writing. And kids, they can basically do it all.

 

Nathan
This season we take on all of these topics and more. We talk to other play experts, artists, performers, kids and scholars, and we take a few of our Pop and Play pals on an epic adventure to a galaxy far, far away: a galaxy called Orlando.

 

Haeny
Never heard of it. Season four drops on April 9th.

 

Nathan
And don't forget to check out the weekly Trashy Awards on Tik-tok @popandplaypod.

Season4 Episode2 cover photo

Season 4, Episode 2

How Do You Design an Immersive Experience?

Haeny and Nathan are joined by immersive experience designer Caro Murphy to discuss the power of immersive experiences, what kinds of choices go into designing them, and what parallels they have to learning environments and teaching. Caro is one of the designers behind the Star Wars: Galactic Experience the team visited in last week’s episode! Listen to that too, it pairs great with this episode in either order! Caro shares some tips and reflections from their immersive experience design work, Nathan makes them navigate a haunted mansion, and more, all on this week’s episode!

Past Seasons

Comics across Generations with John Jennings

Episode 1:  Comics across Generations with John Jennings

Our first episode of Pop and Play Season 3 is here! Professor John Jennings joins Haeny and Nathan to talk about comics across generations. A Hugo and Eisner Award winner, Professor Jennings is the writer and co-creator of the new Marvel series Silver Surfer: Ghost Light, which just released this February! (See the episode page to learn more about some of his impressive list of projects in the wider world of comics.) He talks with Haeny and Nathan about his creative process, who played Batman best, and re-mixing public domain superheroes for fun. Before all that, Haeny and Nathan introduce our theme for Season 3: intergenerational play.

Fashion Forward with Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz and Olivia Ruiz

Episode 2: Fashion Forward with Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz and Olivia Ruiz

Got a strong opinion about fashion? Don’t worry, Nathan will carry that for you in his cargo shorts! Haeny and Nathan put on their best outfits and walk onto a new pop cultural catwalk with an episode on fashion! Luckily they’re joined by some experts: mother and daughter fashion trend-setters Professor Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz and Olivia Ruiz. 

They debate fashion trends and talk fashion icons, plead with Nathan to buy a bag for all that stuff he’s carrying in his cargo pockets, and talk about how fashion is about both individual expression and community.

 

Babysitters Club Meeting with Hannah and Maisie Holbert


 Episode 3: Babysitters Club Meeting with Hannah and Maisie Holbert

Haeny and Nathan talk all about the BSC. Oh you didn’t know that stands for Baby-Sitters Club? Well now you do. And guess what? You’re going to hear a lot more about preferring Kristy or Stacey, how the show has translated both through time and across mediums, and why it makes Nathan misty-eyed. 

Then Nathan’s partner and his daughter join to tease him, I mean teach him about BSC, and they and Haeny talk about their connections with the show and books.

 

Skateboarding with Chris Vidal of UPPERWESTSKATES

 Episode 4: Skateboarding with Chris Vidal of UPPERWESTSKATES

Note: This episode contains some adult language and content.

This week Haeny and Nathan visit UPPERWESTSKATES skate shop and talk with owner Chris Vidal about skateboarding! Did you know that Nathan once owned an extremely cool skateboard. And can you guess what sport Haeny is “pretty skilled” at?

It turns out, visiting a skate shop is a great way to see how play and place can be at the heart of learning and community. Visit the episode page for a transcript and links to more.

Star Wars: The Next Generation Strikes Back with the Massenas and Gabe

Episode 5: Star Wars: The Next Generation Strikes Back with the Massenas and Gabe

Haeny and Nathan may think they know something about Star Wars, but Gabe and siblings Sam and Zia are here to teach these padawans a thing or two about which force powers are best, and themes of family in the Star Wars universe. They also share their stories of connecting across generations and with each other as their fathers tried to indoctrinate them into the ways of the Force.
 
Collecting M.U.S.C.L.E. Men toys (and more) with Morgan Boyd


Episode 6: Collecting M.U.S.C.L.E. Men toys (and more) with Morgan Boyd

Haeny and Nathan love to embrace the chaos of play, but can they also get into putting away their toys neatly? This week on Pop and Play it’s all about finding fun in order and curation: we’re talking about collecting with author, high school English teacher and collector Morgan Boyd. We talk about how Morgan’s daughter got him re-started on collecting, what M.U.S.C.L.E. stands for, what makes something a collection, and why we collect. Also - Nathan tells the world how well a big investment paid off, and Haeny reveals a dark collecting secret. Pop and Play episodes are meant to be played, don’t leave this one in the original packaging!

Detectives and Columbo with Sonali Rajan and Mark and Arlo Maynard

Episode 7: Detectives and Columbo with Sonali Rajan and Mark and Arlo Maynard

Oh don’t mind Haeny and Nathan, they just want to hang around in your podcast feed and ask a couple of questions, if it’s no trouble. Just one more thing… did you listen to this week’s episode of Pop and Play yet? Because we’re talking detectives and Columbo! Haeny and Nathan bring on guests Mark and Arlo Maynard who have a parent and child connection through this unassuming TV detective - and they’re not the only ones because returning guest Professor Sonali Rajan joins to talk about how Columbo has figured into parenting in her family as well! They talk about what brings them together across generations around detective stories and Columbo in particular. And they settle the most important question: Is Batman a detective?

Connecting Generations through Research with Tran Templeton and Sahana

Episode 8: Connecting Generations through Research with Tran Templeton and Sahana

In the final episode of season 3, Early Childhood Researcher and Professor Tran Templeton and ten-year-old Sahana join Haeny and Nathan and everyone is “going bonkers” about intergenerational research. It’ll make sense when you listen. Sahana lets Professor Templeton know what it was like to be part of her study from the perspective of a young person involved in research. And they reflect on why adults should listen to young people.

 

 

Episode 2: Which GIF with John Jackson

Episode 1: Role Playing Games with Matthew Berland and Antero Garcia

Haeny and Nathan are back for another season of Pop and Play! They start it out by playing the role playing game "Lady Blackbird" with Matthew Berland from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Antero Garcia from Stanford University. They discuss how role playing games allow for play with identity, what possibilities different kinds of rules and constraints allow - and more!

 

Episode 2: Reality TV with Ioana Literat

Episode 2: Reality TV with Ioana Literat 

Haeny and Nathan talk with fellow Teachers College Professor Ioana Literat about reality TV! Haeny assigns Nathan homework: watching Keeping up with the Kardashians, and Ioana Literat guides us deep into the 90 Day Fiancé subreddit community. They discuss reality TV as a pedagogical resource, a center of community formation, and Haeny makes Nathan play "Kardashian quotes."

Episode 3: What If . . .? with Mike Dando

Episode 3: What If . . .? with Mike Dando

Haeny and Nathan talk with St. Cloud State University Professor Michael B. Dando about the Marvel series What If...?! They talk about speculative fiction, what playing with remixing the pop culture we love can offer us as people and educators, comics, and how we can learn from Spiderman without translating it into the vocabulary of schooling.

 

Episode 4: He-Man and Pop Culture Representation with Anne Haas Dyson

Episode 4: He-Man and Pop Culture Representation with Anne Haas Dyson

Haeny and Nathan discuss Masters of the Universe: Revelation, a recent follow-up to the '80s cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. They're joined by University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign Professor Anne Haas Dyson to talk children's play, pop culture and representation! How does Pop culture inform children's play, and what is the importance of representation to children? And why do shows keep trying to teach Haeny lessons?

Episode 5: Choose Your Own Adventure

Episode 5: Choose Your Own Adventure

Nathan and Haeny read Choose Your Own Adventure books and discuss them with special guests: kids! (Books: Space and Beyond (Choose Your Own Adventure Series #3) and Choose Your Own Adventure Eighth Grade Witch.) They discuss what the kids thought about the CYOA book, the best reading strategies, and what's poppin' for their four guests.

Dangerous Play and the Block 19 Pistol (Crossover with (Re)Search for Solutions)

Episode 6: Dangerous Play and the Block 19 Pistol (Crossover with (Re)Search for Solutions)

Haeny and Nathan are joined by friend of the show and colleague Lalitha Vasudevan, as well as (Re)Search for Solutions host Sonali Rajan for a special crossover episode. This episode covers a more serious topic as it discusses the troubling implications of the "Block 19" - a gun made to be adorned with LEGOs, along with the complex intersection between play and violence. 

 

Episode 1: 20 Questions with Lalitha Vasudevan

Episode 1: 20 Questions with Lalitha Vasudevan

Professor Lalitha Vasudevan guest hosts and we learn about Haeny and Nathan’s research on play, why they think considering play is important and what they do to play.

Then they all play “20-questions” and share… “vintage” …pop culture recommendations.

Episode 2: Which GIF with John Jackson

Episode 2: Which GIF with John Jackson

Haeny and Nathan talk with John L. Jackson, Jr., an anthropologist, filmmaker, and the Dean of the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. In this episode John talks us through his days as the host of the radio show “Jackson Attraction” and multimodal scholarship. In their conversation, they learn that scholarship is itself an act of play; that at the intersection of play and art and making is a space for disruption and interruption. 

Plus they play "Which GIF?" and share "What's Poppin'". 

Episode 3: Colleagues Quiz with John Potter and Kate Cowan

Episode 3: Colleagues Quiz with John Potter and Kate Cowan

Haeny and Nathan talk with John Potter and Kate Cowan about their work in the UK on children's play from historical archives through the present day, how the pandemic has affected children's play, and some of their own memories of childhood play.

Plus they play "Colleagues Quiz" and share "What's Poppin'."

Episode 4: Sewing is NOT a

Episode 4: Sewing is NOT a "girl sport" with Yasmin Kafai

Haeny and Nathan talk with Yasmin Kafai about everything from programming to biomarker spaces. Yasmin Discusses what it means to play virtually in Whyville, program on Scratch, stitch E-textiles, and explore biomaterials. 

Plus they play "Is this toy real or fake?" and share "What's Poppin'."

Episode 5: Future Dreaming with Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and Oluwaseun Animashaun

Episode 5: Future Dreaming with Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and Oluwaseun Animashaun

Haeny and Lalitha talk with Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and Oluwaseun (Olu) Animashaun about speculative fiction, Afrofuturism, African Futurism, and much more. They discuss the political dimensions of play in these and other genres, from children's literature to the big screen, and how these artifacts will stand in the 22nd century. 

Plus they play "Would you Rather: Speculative Fiction Edition" and share "What's Poppin'."

Episode VI: The Return of Nathan (LIVE with Cassie Brownell and Chris Moffett)

Episode 6: The Return of Nathan (LIVE with Cassie Brownell and Chris Moffett)

This Star Wars themed live episode (May the 4th be with you) was recorded with a LIVE Zoom audience. Haeny, Nathan, and Lalitha talk with Cassie Brownwell and Chris Moffett about the play during the pandemic, patterns in play, play with pop culture, and what this all might have to do with Star Wars. 

Plus they play "Would you Bloop or Bleep?," quiz Cassie, and share "what's poppin."

 

 

  • Images were generated by Canva's AI Image Generator. 

Meet Your Hosts


Haeny Yoon
Associate Professor of Early Childhood in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching

Haeny Yoon is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Dept. of Curriculum and Teaching. She works with both pre and in-service teachers in designing spaces for children’s play and inquiry. She is also the faculty co-director of the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center, serving children from infant-PreK. The center provides a play-based, emergent curriculum model that forefronts children agency and imagination as central to children’s development. 

Nathan Holbert
Nathan Holbert
Associate Professor in the Program of Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design

Nathan Holbert is a dad who designs stuff and builds stuff. He also plays a lot of games. He’s quite lucky to be able to design, build, and play as an Associate professor of Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design at Teachers College, Columbia University. Nathan likes to build and study playful tools and technologies that help kids make things they care about or ask questions about the world around them.

Nathan is co-editor of Designing Constructionist Futures: The Art, Theory, and Practice of Learning Designs and Founding Director of the Snow Day Learning Lab.

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