Dr. Abby Loebenberg

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Dr. Abby Loenberg
Honors Faculty Fellow

Office Location: 
Sage South 169
Phone Number: 

Abby Loebenberg has a doctorate in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Oxford University where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Her academic research expertise is in urban and educational anthropology and she has particular experience in teaching courses and seminars on cross-cultural issues, both theoretical and practical. Some examples of these are theory classes on the anthropology of global consumption; cultural immersion and diversity both on study abroad and here in Phoenix, as well as classes about cross-cultural research using fun and novel methods like role-playing games and other forms of experiential learning. Dr. Loebenberg is interested in working with students on service-based projects and creative projects that look to make a difference in the community, for example, her mentorship of the Pre-Dental Society’s Operation Toothbrush program, which began as a creative project/thesis. Dr. Loebenberg has been the Chair of Travel Programs for Barrett since 2016 and has experience developing, managing, directing and teaching on multiple types of Study Abroad and non-credit travel programs.

Teaching Style:

  • Experiential
  • Cross-cultural
  • Study Abroad
  • Service and Creative Projects
  • Leadership

Research Work

  • Higher Education Research
  • Play and Play Advocacy
  • Games
  • Creativity

Recent Media:

Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies? (Salzburg Global Seminar)


Let them play! Expert argues recess builds brains, social skills


PBS Interview

How to Encourage Co-operative Play in Your Child


Why Reducing Recess can have Unexpected Consequences on Student


Recent Publications:

The Playful Curriculum:  Differentiating Honors education through the use of games as a framework for open-ended course design.  In K. O’Flaherty and R. Gee. Continuity and Innovation in Honors College Curricula.  Rowman and Littlefield.


International Journal of Play

Playing in virtual spaces: using ethnography to explore a new area of research


Material Culture Review

Consumption, Collection, Creativity: Micro-Local Practices within Children’s Bedroom Play in Urban Vancouver


Material World Occasional Paper Series

Space and Place in a Disaster Landscape: The phenomenology of Hurricane Katrina recovery in Waveland, Mississippi (With Bradford, S)


Play and Culture Studies

Children’s playful consumption: The hidden negotiations of the playground and the home


Professional Affiliations

The Association for the Study of Play  - Board Member at Large