Kalamazoo 2011: Games and Gaming in Medieval Literature

full name / name of organization: 
Serina Patterson
contact email: 

Game studies is quickly emerging as a popular, interdisciplinary field within the humanities and social sciences, yet medieval scholars are still only beginning to explore the relationship between recreational games and literature from a literary or cultural context. This session seeks to broaden this field of study by focusing on depictions of games and gaming in medieval literature and their relation to recreation in the Middle Ages.

As one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the Middle Ages, medieval recreational games were sometimes depicted in literature: from games of chance such as the Middle French dice poem Le Jeu D'Amour to depictions of social, courtly games such as the one described in the fifteenth-century Middle English dream vision The Floure and the Leafe, medieval recreational games were prominent in the cultural imaginations across Europe and beyond. This session welcomes papers on all aspects of games and literature, including but not limited to:

• Depictions of games such as chess, backgammon, or dice
• Books as board games
• Readers as "players," authors as "game designers"
• Mathematical puzzles, riddles, and word games
• Courtly love games
Les Demaundes D'Amour tradition
• Gaming and exemplary literature
• Games that focus on gender and sexuality

Please send a 250-300 word abstract suitable for a twenty-minute paper, a CV or biographical note, and completed Participant Information Form (http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF) by September 15, 2010, to Serina Patterson, University of British Columbia, Department of English, serina.laureen@gmail.com