Summer Readings

With the conference season finally coming to an end, academics or other researchers might want to reflect and think back on past events. I want to draw your attention to two opportunities for summer readings with reports on past events accessible online:

– the reports on sessions of the International Medieval Congress 2018 in Leeds are online. Some are even written by your humble scribe of these few lines, so some do even concern medieval games and competitions. Don’t forget to check them out!

– for those interested in a wider range of topics, the German Historical Institute has launched a new blog for articles and reports on their events here.

Bonne lecture!

IMC Leeds 2018

It’s that time of the year when many medievalists gather in the English city of Leeds to proceed to the annual International Medieval Conference, taking place from July 2nd to July 5th 2018. This year’s celebrating the 25th return of the conference with the thematic strand « Memory ». Out of 1903 (!!!) proposed sessions, this post will shed some light on the sessions dealing with medieval games and play.

But, before going through the program, please allow me to advertise the initivite run by our colleagues from Mittelalterblog, who, same as last year (same as every year, one might be tempted to say), coordinates a reporting crew that will do their best to update you on a wide range of scientific talks and sessions and thus make you live the IMC Leeds as if you were there! You might also want to monitor #IMC2018 on twitter or follow your favourite medievalists on social media directly. Your humble servant from this blog will try to do her best to keep up with the other reporting the scribes! So please check out regularly this post for a growing series of sessions’ reports.

If you are focussing on medieval play studies (in a wide sense), these sessions might be of interest to you:

Session 138: Remembering the Royal Hunt: Hunting Histories and Royal Identity

has dissappeared from the online program. So sad!

Session 153: Creative Memories: Shaping Identity in Medieval Culture, I
Organiser: Jörg Sonntag
Chair: Mirko Breitenstein
Tradition Meets Creativity: The Ambiguous Lifestyle of the Order of St William by Jörg Sonntag
Memory and Mnemotechnics in Medieval Didactic Games by Sophie Caflisch
Between Tradition and Creativity: The Rituals of the Teutonic Order by Nicholas W. Youmans

Session 524: Memory Theatre, I: Shaping Memory through Theatre
Organiser: Cora Dietl
Chair: Cora Dietl
A Prince or a Pauper?: Staging Noble Lineage in the Coronation Order of Emperor Charles IV, by Eliška Poláčková
Unreliable Witnesses: Foreign and Local Memories of the 1589 Florentine Intermedi, by M. A. Katritzky
Imagery, Memory, and Dynasties in Shakespeare’s Richard II, by Giorgia de Santis

Session 548: Jousts and Pas d’Armes, I: Armour, Equipment, and Costume
Organiser: Alan V. Murray
Chair: Ros Brown-Grant
Armour and Dress for the Pas d’Armes: Real Playing for Roles, by Karen Watts
Heraldic Horse Harness Pendants and Related Equipment Fittings, by David Harpin
Between a Monk and a Hard Place: Ulrich von Liechtenstein and the Invention of the Jousting Tour, by Alan V. Murray

Session 624: Memory Theatre, II: Theatrical Memento
Organiser: Cora Dietl
Chair: M. A. Katritzky
Three Memento mori Plays on the Late Medieval Majorcan Stage, by Lenke Kovács
Memento mori on Swiss Stage: Johannes Kolross’s Spil von Fünfferley betrachtnussen zur Buß, by Cora Dietl
‘And do not say ’tis superstition…’: Shakespeare, Memory, and the Iconography of Death, by Lawrence Green

Session 705: Games and Visual Culture, I
Organiser: Elizabeth Lapina
Chair: Vanina Kopp
Cultural Transmissions: Gaming Pieces in Action, by Madeline Walsh
Children’s Toys in Medieval Italy, by Annemarieke Willemsen
Graffiti as Gaming: Viking Play in Ancient Spaces, by Julie Mell

Session 805: Games and Visual Culture, II
Organiser: Elizabeth Lapina
Chair: Vanina Kopp
Liturgical Book, Reliquary, or Memorial?: Chess as the Central Motif on the Book Cover of Duke Otto the Mild of Braunschweig, by Anna Schubert
‘The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is by the Lord’: Gaming’s Role in Representations of the Passion, by Lisa Mahoney
Playing Memory: Thomas Murner’s Didactical Games as Material-Discursive Practices, by Michael A. Conrad

Session 1648: Engaging the Crusades, II: Playing Crusaders
Organiser: Kristin Skottki
Chair: Felix Hinz
A Sacred Task, No Cross Required: The Image of Crusading in Non-Christian Fantasy and Science Fiction Settings, by Roland Wenskus
Reimagining Crusaders in Fantasy Video Games, by Victoria Cooper
Crusader Kings Too?: Representing the Crusades in Grand Strategy Computer Games, by Robert Houghton

Out now: Educative Games and Ludic Knowledge II

We are delighted to announce the publication of the second volume of the proceedings of the 2015 conference « Jeux éducatifs et savoirs ludiques dans l’occident médiéval », edited by Francesca Aceto and Vanina Kopp! Just as the first one, the review Ludica. Annali di storia e civiltà del gioco did an amazing job in creating a beautiful object, and our contributors gave all their best for making their articles an interesting read!

Here ‘s the summary of volume II, in Ludica 23 (2017):
Jeux éducatifs et savoirs ludiques dans l’Europe médiévale/Educative Games and Ludic Knowledge in Medieval Europe II
Francesca Aceto/Vanina Kopp: Jeu, pédagogie et performance dans les sociétés médiévales/Play, pedagogy and performance in medieval societies
Alessandra Rizzi: Educare col gioco/rieducare al gioco: predicatori e uomini di Chiesa fra medioevo ed età moderna
Marie Anne Polo de Beaulieu/Jacques Berlioz: Les prédicateurs connaissaient-ils la notion de jeux éducatifs ? Enquête dans quelques collections de récits exemplaires (XIIIe-XVe siècle)
Iolanda Ventura: Curiosità, insegnamento e piacere nelle enciclopedie del Tardo Medioevo: il caso del Responsorium curiosorum attribuito a Corrado di Halberstadt
Vanina Kopp: « Jeux et esbatemens aucunement plaisans pour avoir contenance et maniere de parler ». Les recueils de demandes d’amour comme manuels éducatifs
Darwin Smith: Aspects de l’écriture dramatique en France au XVe siècle : fil sonore, mime, polytopie et mass media

Just as a reminder, volume I in Ludica 21-22 (2015-2016) contained these articles:
Jeux éducatifs et savoirs ludiques dans l’Europe médiévale/Educative Games and Ludic Knowledge in Medieval Europe I
Francesca Aceto/Vanina Kopp: Entre didactique et ludique. Essais d’une approche historique/Teaching and Play. A historical approach
Noëlle-Laetitia Perret: La place du jeu dans l’éducation du prince d’après Gilles de Rome et son traducteur Guillaume (XIIIe-XIVe siècle)
Sophie Caflisch: Language Immersion through Movement Games and Play in Late Medieval Europe
Ilaria Taddei: Jouer dans la cité des humanistes. Les confréries de jeunesse à Florence au XVe siècle
Francesca Aceto: « Aguzzar l’ingegno dei giovani ». Jeux, mathématiques et violences symboliques au Quattrocento

Conference 14-17 February 2018: Games and Competitions in Medieval Societies


Click here to download the conference program !


Particular games and contexts have attracted wide interest in recent research. But further studies are needed on the cultural history of the ludic in pre-modern societies, with its all-pervasive character and relevance throughout society. The goal of this conference is to explore the elementary meanings of ludic aspects of leisure time in medieval societies, notably examining their agonistic character, in sport and in societal competition. In medieval life, games and competitions were spaces for power plays, communication, and contact between social ranks and between the sexes. Moreover, they offered a stage for the representation and theatricalization of social order and cultural practice. With evolving social and societal contexts, understandings of such performative idioms and their role in social life may need re-evaluation. And indeed, in pre-modern societies, more was at stake in the ludic: for members of every social and sexual category, games and competitions had an important role in the mediation and perpetuation of society’s order.

The conference seeks to open an international dialogue on these topics, covering the entire medieval period (5th to 15th centuries), with no geographical restrictions.

Continuer la lecture de « Conference 14-17 February 2018: Games and Competitions in Medieval Societies »