Anna Beresin

BA, Tufts University. MEd, Harvard Graduate School of Education. PhD, University of Pennsylvania. Special interests include: the psychology of play; urban children's folklore; art and the imaginary; play, power, and violence; and the anthropology of childhood. Co-editor of the International Journal of Play, a Taylor and Francis, peer-reviewed journal. Professor of psychology and folklore, Department of Critical Studies, the University of the Arts, 1999-. Recipient of several awards in children's folklore from the American Folklore Society. SLC, 2021– 

Research Interests

How is play a window into creative thinking and social life? What do children's cultures teach us about the diversity of human creativity? My research straddles several fields: developmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, and folklore and advocates for the wisdom of multidisciplinary lenses in the study of play and paradox. The majority of my research has been the longitudinal study of urban playgrounds, focusing both on children's creativity and the inequity of institutional barriers connected to race, class, gender, and age. Currently researching the impact of COVID-19 on children's play and socialization in Philadelphia, I am studying children's proximity to public green space and their time spent indoors and online. Advocacy projects include co-creating the Global Recess Alliance and NEUARTS, Neighborhood Engagement at the University of the Arts. For a peek at previous research and a sample of books published about play, feel free to visit