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!

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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