Gaetano Cozzi Prize for studies on the history of games 2018 call for submissions

Message from Gherardo Ortalli, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, for the third call for paper of the Gaetano Cozzi Price for early career researchers. Winners receive not only some money but also the possibility to be published in the very beautiful and well edited review “Ludica”. Want to participate? The deadline is  31st December 2018 and the regulations are to be found below:

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CFPs and What Else?

Some might have noticed that the research group isn’t organizing many conferences at the moment – it’s because we’re all busy writing our thesises, books, articles, etc… But luckily the medieval gaming universe isn’t boring like us – there are many exciting CFP related to gaming topics in the wider sense of play inthe Middle Ages, and new play centred publication series, and job opportunities here at the German Historical Institute where a game related PhD project could very well fit in! So please have a look if anything’s up your alley:

  1. La Poésie en temps de guerre : représentations du conflit et construction de l’identité à la fin du Moyen Âge, organized by Daisy Delogu (University of Chicago) and Laëtitia Tabard (Le Mans Université); University of Chicago Center in Paris, March 29-30, 2019; Those interested in presenting their work are asked to provide a paper proposal of no more than 300 words by November 1 2018. More details BELOW.
  2. Theatre in Wartime. Actors, Authors, Audiences, 27-28 May, 2019, Ecoles de Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan (CREC Saint-Cyr) Université Rennes 2 (CELLAM, Tempora), Full call in english and French, Dealine 15 Nov 2018.
  3. Summerschool DHIP: Wahrnehmung und Darstellung von Grenzen und Grenzräumen in der Vormoderne (9.–18. Jahrhundert); 21.–24. Mai 2019 am DHIP, more info and CFP here.
  4. AUP has launched a new series called “Cultures of Play, 1300-1700”, and this is how they discribe it (text from their homepage: “Cultures of Play, 1300-1700 provides a forum for investigating the full scope of medieval and early modern play, from toys and games to dramatic performances, from etiquette manuals and literary texts to bulls and tractates, from jousting to duels, and from education to early scientific investigation. Inspired by the foundational work of Johan Huizinga as well as later contributions by Roger Caillois, Eugen Fink, and Bernard Suits, this series publishes monographs and essay collections that address the ludic aspects of premodern life. The accent of this series falls on cultural practices that have thus far eluded traditional disciplinary models. Our goal is to make legible modes of thought and action that until recently seemed untraceable, thereby shaping the growing scholarly discourses on playfulness both past and present.”
  5. The German Historical Institute seeks to fill two positions for early career researchers (in the course of a PhD project). The thematic focus is free as long as it fits into the research interests of the Institute – to which play and games in the Middle Ages totally does! The persons are required to work part-time in the redaction of the Institute. Here is the call in German (only).
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Arbeiten, beten, feiern – Der May der Confraternitas Sainte-Anne de Notre-Dame de Paris

Von Sophie Matulla und Charlotte Feidicker

Während eines Praktikums (Wissenschaft/Mittelalter) am Deutschen Historischen Institut Paris im Zeitraum vom 01.05.-30.06.2018 haben sich Sophie Matulla (Universität Hamburg) und Charlotte Feidicker (Universität Münster) unter der Anleitung von Dr. Vanina Kopp mit Quellen der Bruderschaft St. Anne von Notre-Dame in Paris (1449-1712) beschäftigt. Der hier veröffentlichte Beitrag ist aus der Quellenarbeit heraus entstanden.

Item, la coustume est que le jour St-Marc, apres disner, de despendre le May qui est devant Nostre-Dame et le rependre dedans la chappelle. Et le doibt faire assavoir ledit ancien Maistre a ses compaignons et doyen, et a ceulx qui ont de coustume de y venir ayder. Et en tous les jours que l’on despend et repend ledict May, les deux plus anciens Maistres iront lesdictz jours des le matin parler au chevecier de Nostre-Dame pour fair ouvrir l´huys pour aller aux voultes.[1]

Dieser Auszug stammt aus dem Quellenfundus Paris, Archives Nationales KK1348, welcher unter anderem Aufzeichnungen über den kulturellen Jahreskalender der Gemeinschaft St. Anne de Notre Dame de Paris[2] enthält. In den Quellen wird St. Anne als „Confrérie” bezeichnet. Es handelt sich in diesem Fall um eine Teilgruppe der Goldschmiedezunft, die sogenannte Confraternitas, die sich um religiös-karitative Belange kümmerte: „Die Zunft selbst bestand aus der gewerblichen Gesellschaft (societas) und der religiös-karitativen Bruderschaft (confraternitas)“[3]. Der Quellenauszug beschreibt anschaulich die Vorbereitungen der Confraternitas St. Anne für die Maifestivität:

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C’est la rentrée 2018

Alors que nous revenons toutes et tous lentement vers nos projets après la pause bénéfique de l’été, je me permets de relancer ce carnet pour une nouvelle année universitaire. Dans les semaines à venir, chères lectrices et chers lecteurs, vous allez avoir le plaisir de découvrir un long article sur les fêtes et jeux des confréries parisiennes, un article pour lequel les sources ont été analysés par deux ex stagiaires ici au sein de l’IHA (non, je n’en profite certainement pas pour vous encourager de vérifier les conditions de stages à l’IHA sur son site internet sous l’onglet „Promotion/Förderung“…) et qui ont aussi rédigées le billet scientifique. Après, il y aura aussi un AAC/CFP, d’autres petites pépites, et peut-être un jour, une édition de sources par un collègue.

Voilà, comme toujours, merci pour votre suivi et votre lecture, et surtout, bonne rentrée!

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: Continuer la lecture de « IMC Leeds 2018 »

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.

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