TEA Connect Blog

26 April 2018

New TEA Academic Network and symposium: Call for papers, due 31 May 2018

Peter Weishar at  the 2014 TEA SATE conference
on Experience Design, which took place at
the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art 
in Sarasota, Florida

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announces the new TEA Academic Network, which is organizing the first Themed Experience and Attractions Symposium, Nov 16, 2018 in Orlando. Call for papers, due May 31, 2018 - details below.

Story by Peter Weishar, Professor, FSU Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship and Director, FSU Themed Experience Institute

The TEA Academic Network is a community of researchers, educators and academics dedicated to developing new knowledge and disseminating ideas that improve the quality of student preparedness to enter the themed entertainment and experience industry. We are focused on expanding the quality and breadth of themed entertainment and experience education.

Kathryn Woodcock at TEA SATE 2016, New York. 
Dr. Woodcock will chair the first Themed Experience
and Attractions Symposium, Nov 16 in Orlando. 
See the call for papers, below.

Just as academia has come to recognize the unique talents and skillsets in film, photography, and the digital arts as academic disciplines, the academic world has started to realize there are unique talents and skillsets needed to create a successful themed experience.

Less than ten years ago there was only one accredited degree program that specifically addressed the needs of the themed entertainment industry. The Tea Academic Network now has members from CalArts, Carnegie Mellon, University of Central Florida, Savannah College of Art & Design, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Florida State University and Ryerson University.

There are a growing number of academics around the globe looking at themed experience through the lens of a diversity of scholarly disciplines. Some see the field as a unique and powerful collaborative artform in which they create, apply, and evaluate new knowledge for the use of artists, designers, engineers, architects, and a myriad of other technical and creative disciplines.

TEA Past President Christine Kerr is
founder and chair of the TEA Educational
Programming Committee. Here, Christine is
at the TEA booth at the 2016 IAAPA Attractions Expo.

Other scholars emphasize the analysis of experience, its underlying arts and technologies, and its outcomes. We are confident that our colleagues in other higher education institutions who have, or are considering, programs and studies in themed experience will be interested in joining the TEA Academic Network.

Some of the TEA Academic Network's short-term goals are to expand academic engagement and membership in the TEA and expand the academic community’s understanding of industry needs and explore synergies, opportunities and partnerships with other organizations and institutions. In the long-term we hope to help facilitate and be a part of a vibrant, new and growing academic discipline.

The first TEA Academic Network event will be the Themed Experience and Attractions Symposium, held in Orlando on Friday, November 16, 2018, presented by the TEA in collaboration with the IAAPA Foundation in the Orange County Convention Center during the IAAPA Attractions Expo. Kathryn Woodcock PhD. is chairing the symposium. 

Call for papers! Participate in the first Themed Experience and Attractions Symposium, Nov 16, 2018. Click for details on submitting a paper.

Key dates:

  • Deadline for submission: 31 May 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: 15 July 2018
  • Deadline for submission of final camera-ready papers: 15 October 2018

Help make the TEA Academic Network and its initiatives successful - if you are in a position to do so, please share this information with academics who are interested in, or already teaching or studying, themed experience. 


Posted by Judith Rubin



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