Kalamazoo 2016 - The Playful Reader

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The 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies (ICMS), May 12-15, 2016
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Game Cultures Society

The Playful Reader (paper session)

In the medieval text, the paradigm of reading as a game is already both implicit and explicit: the rhetorical assumptions of the text presume an author's play of intertexuality as well as a readership expecting to be tested via the play between memory and intertexuality. In fact, critics ranging from Walter Ong to Wolfgang Iser use, or assume, a game analogy to describe the process of reading a literary text. Participation is mutual for this game to work since a text's meaning is defined by the reader's interactive participation in this game space. Consequently, medieval reading is an interplay between the inherited tradition and the present for both the author and the reader. So how do we consider the ways in which the medieval reader recognizes an author's choices of, and between, conventions and tradition? The individual reader must be somehow be alerted to the nature of the game and taught to interpret the narrative code he, or she, is reading. What are the processes by which such "play" is signaled?

Please send abstracts (250-300 words), a brief bio or CV, and a participant information form to Serina Patterson (serinap@alumni.ubc.ca) and Betsy McCormick (bmccormick@mtsac.edu) by September 15th, 2015. The participant information forms are available online at: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF.