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gordon-burghardtGordon Burghardt, Alumni Distinguished Service Professor in the departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will be talking about the importance of play at this week’s Pregame Showcase prior to Saturday’s football game against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The showcase will begin at 5:30 p.m., two hours before kickoff, in the Carolyn P. Brown University Center Ballroom (Room 213).

Now in its twenty-fifth season, the Pregame Showcase, sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, gives fans the chance to hear from accomplished faculty prior to each gridiron matchup. UT Athletics and UT Knoxville Alumni Affairs are also supporting partners.

Free and open to the public, each showcase features a thirty-minute presentation followed by a fifteen-minute question-and-answer session. A brief reception will be held after each program. A door prize will be awarded.

Burghardt’s presentation, “Play Throughout the Animal World,” will look at how and why humans and animals play. Videos show that all types of animals, even insects, make time to play. Burghardt will explain the scientific interest in play and importance of play in our lives and animals’ lives.

“Play is the meeting point of brain and body, and we ignore it at our peril,” Burghardt said.

Here’s the lineup for the rest of the season:

November 15—”Expanding the Synthetic Toolbox for Pharmaceuticals.” David M. Jenkins, associate professor of chemistry and Gleb Mamantov Professor, will look at how man-made chemicals can be used to make medicine.

November 22—”Let’s Play! Shakespeare for Civilians.” Kathleen S. Buckley, associate professor of theatre, will host a Shakespeare workshop with audience participation.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,