CFP – Lit, Lore, and Canon: Textuality and Transmediality in Medieval Digital Gaming – Proposals 8/15/16

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Daniel T Kline
contact email: 

As a follow-up to the successful publication of Digital Gaming Re-imagines the Middle Ages (Routledge, 2014), I am soliciting proposals for a follow-on volume tentatively entitled, Lit, Lore, and Canon in Medieval Digital Gaming.

Focus: For this proposed anthology, I am interested in essays that examine the forms of textuality (broadly conceived) preceding medievalist games as sources, occurring within them, extending from them, or inspired by them. This includes not only source materials but also commercial publications (novelizations and other possibilities) and perhaps more importantly the huge variety and creativity of fan-based communities embodied in wikis, blogs, sub-reddits, fanfic, YouTube videos, dramatizations, and others. Likewise, contributors could consider medievalist games across other media forms, like movies and TV series as well as the forms of textuality within the games themselves. Attendant upon these questions come vibrant and often contentious debates as to what counts as ‘authentic,’ ‘canonical,’ or ‘lore’ in the game’s extended world, who gets to decide, and upon what basis. Rather than reaching toward an ultimately unknowable medieval real, neomedievalist digital games and these attendant forms of textuality and transmediality perform a range of ‘cultural work,’ beginning with gamer subjectivity (in all its varied and alternative dimensions) and extending outward into a variety of affiliations, peer groups, & communities.

Possibilities: Thus, the proposed anthology poses a number of crucial questions concerning adaptation, mediation, and (re)mediation; transmediality and cross-platform tie-ins; medieval texts and digital textualities; canon formation, digital apocrypha, and heretical communities; canonical, noncanonical, and extra-canonical texts; multiplayer chat and linguistic diversity; books and forms of textuality within games and in the fan communities (scrolls, histories, books, notes, journals); algorithms and dialogue trees as texts. In other words: What counts, what doesn’t, and who gets to decide what? Other possibilities include: 

  • Gamergate, gender, sexuality, and power; gaslighting; doxxing
  • Gaming, speculative medievalisms, counterfactual history, utopian possibilities
  • Gaming, secret societies, arcane religions, and the 'templarization' of history
  • Gaming, digital sociologies, and electronic epistemologies; emotion & affect in gaming
  • Gaming, gender, sexuality, class, age; trans-developmental and trans-temporal subjectivities
  • Gaming and race and nation; digital orientalism and postcolonialism; space-based societies
  • Gaming, discursive/symbolic violence, and ethics; justice & diversity beyond gender & the Bechdel Test
  • Gaming, immersion, social inclusion, and cultural diversity
  • Gaming, social simulations, LARPing and LARPers (Live-Action Role Playing & Players); re-enactors
  • Gaming, movies, and television: Game of Thrones and the question of priority; other extended universes
  • Gaming, neomedievalism, and transmedia universes in Star Wars, DC, and Marvel

Throughout, attention should be paid to articulations of the medieval and definitions of neomedievalism as well as game theory, broadly construed: What is it about ‘the medieval’ that makes it so fertile a ground for gaming?