Session Title

Riddles, Puns, and Play: Poetic and Literary Games in the Middle Ages

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris

Organizer Name

Vanina M. Kopp

Organizer Affiliation

Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris

Presider Name

Vanina M. Kopp

Paper Title 1

"Actin' Funny but I Don't Know Why": Jokes and Puns in Alcuin's Disputatio Pippini

Presenter 1 Name

Jessica Lockhart

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Centre for Medieval Studies, Univ. of Toronto

Paper Title 2

Genre and Expectation in the Riddles of the Exeter Book

Presenter 2 Name

Ben Garceau

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Indiana Univ.-Bloomington

Paper Title 3

Sound Play in the Old English Riddles

Presenter 3 Name

Megan Hartman

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Nebraska-Kearney

Paper Title 4

The "Deep Play" of the Tournament: Veterans, Mock-Violence, and the Redemptive Function of the Play-Community

Presenter 4 Name

Jenna Philipps

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Princeton Univ.

Start Date

14-5-2015 10:00 AM

Session Location

Sangren 1730

Description

Riddles, Puns and Play. Poetic and Literary Games in the Middle Ages.

People nowadays love to play - either on their smartphone as pastime or for learning via pedagogical “gaming”. This is also true for people in the Middle Ages. Playing connects both social interaction as well as emotions. Games are a very successful way of transmitting values and knowledge, especially in a hierarchical context such as the medieval feudal society. Literary games were popular both in a courtly setting (c.f. the classic book by Huizinga: "Homo ludens") as well as in a monastic setting (c.f. the recent anthology by Sonntag: "Religiosus ludens"). Wit and repartee were a favorite mean for these pedagogical games. Some were held as poetic competitions, other as a teacher/pupil exchange dialogues or latin/vernacular puns and riddles.

Rather than privileging the simple description of games people played, in this session papers are sought which interrogate the role of the games as mean for social cohesion or catharsis in a hierarchical society. In particular, papers which address the interconnected nexus of ties which link competition and "play communities" in cultural history are welcome. This sessions wants to open up discussions on literary games and their importance in the Middle Ages.

Vanina Madeleine Kopp, German Historical Institute Paris.

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May 14th, 10:00 AM

Riddles, Puns, and Play: Poetic and Literary Games in the Middle Ages

Sangren 1730

Riddles, Puns and Play. Poetic and Literary Games in the Middle Ages.

People nowadays love to play - either on their smartphone as pastime or for learning via pedagogical “gaming”. This is also true for people in the Middle Ages. Playing connects both social interaction as well as emotions. Games are a very successful way of transmitting values and knowledge, especially in a hierarchical context such as the medieval feudal society. Literary games were popular both in a courtly setting (c.f. the classic book by Huizinga: "Homo ludens") as well as in a monastic setting (c.f. the recent anthology by Sonntag: "Religiosus ludens"). Wit and repartee were a favorite mean for these pedagogical games. Some were held as poetic competitions, other as a teacher/pupil exchange dialogues or latin/vernacular puns and riddles.

Rather than privileging the simple description of games people played, in this session papers are sought which interrogate the role of the games as mean for social cohesion or catharsis in a hierarchical society. In particular, papers which address the interconnected nexus of ties which link competition and "play communities" in cultural history are welcome. This sessions wants to open up discussions on literary games and their importance in the Middle Ages.

Vanina Madeleine Kopp, German Historical Institute Paris.