LUDUS: The Narrative of Games and the Art of Play, GLITS Interdiscipinary Research Conference, 22 June 2012 [30 April 2012]

full name / name of organization: 
Goldsmiths College, University of London
contact email: 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Grethe Mitchell (University of Lincoln)

The Latin word 'Ludus' (a play, a game, a pastime) embodies a semantic play of language that is suggestive of the importance of the concepts of play and games to cultural products. Ludus can also refer to a school for elementary instruction, 'Ludi' to public shows or spectacles. Latin poetry often explores and celebrates Ludus as the creative play of writing, as in Ludic verse.

Games are a means by which we interact with the world, and one another. From our earliest infancy we play games with others, or by ourselves, with toys or imaginary playmates. Our understanding of verbal expression, too, is formulated by so-called 'language games', according to Ludwig Wittgenstein (Philosophical Investigations, 1953). The pastimes of our childhood endure into many forms as we grow: physical sports, board games, crosswords or Sudoku, videogames or 'role-play games', and the acts of reading and writing as/about games.

This interdisciplinary research conference seeks to explore the ways in which games are treated in literature, the visual arts, music, media, sociological, philosophical and psychological studies. How have games been incorporated into literature - both fiction and non-fiction - throughout the ages? Is narrative itself a 'game'? How are games represented or replicated in the arts? In the wake of postmodernism, and with the twenty-first century advances in technology and communication, is the concept of game itself 'played with'?

We welcome abstracts for papers from all areas of research on any aspect of the theme of games or play, including (but not limited to):

• Wordplay and punning
• Competition
• Solitary or group play
• Games in children's fiction
• Representations of gameplay in prose, poetry or plays
• Narrative-focused games (video games, RPGs)
• Games in science fiction and speculative fiction
• Role-play and masking
• Games through the ages
• Violent and peaceful play
• Game as metaphor or analogy
• Games and questions of gender, race, disability, religion
• Creative writing on the theme of games
• Videogames and game technology
• Writers' essays on games or play
• Literary narrative itself as a 'game
• The psychology of games

Abstracts of 300-500 words should be sent to by 30 April 2012. Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Proposals for panels (comprising three speakers) are also welcome. We also welcome ideas for artwork on the theme of games which could be displayed during the conference.

This is the third annual interdisciplinary research conference held by GLITS: Goldsmiths Literature Seminars, and will take place at Goldsmiths College, in London, UK, Friday 22 June 2012.

More information can be found at the following:
Twitter: @Ludus2012