Members of the network may be interested in the Historia Ludens conference at the University of Huddersfield (11 Feb 2017):

This conference follows up on the workshop “Playing with History” that has been held in November 2015 in Huddersfield. Gaming and History is gaining more and more traction, either as means to “gamify” history education or museum experiences, or as computer games as prism into history like the popular History Respawned podcast series (http://www.historyrespawned.com/).

Besides discussing gamification or using (computer) games, we also want to explore gaming and playing in a broader historical-cultural sense. Can “playing” be used as category for historical scholarship, maybe alongside other categories such as gender, space or class? Historian Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens from 1938 looked at play and its importance for human culture. Can historians make similar cases for more specific histories? In recent publications historians have pointed to the connection between cities and play. Simon Sleight, for example, has worked on the history of childhood and urban history, i.e. young people appropriating public urban spaces for their ludic activities and their struggle with authorities over this. Archaeologists, as another example, have shown that much of the urban infrastructure of Ancient Rome was dedicated to games, playing and gambling, as it had such a big role in Roman life.

The conference organisers thus invite contributions from a broad range of topics for a one-strand, one-day conference on gaming and history, broadly defined. Topics can include (but are not restricted to) Serious Gaming, Gamification in History Education, Gamification in Museums, Podcasts, Computer Games, “Playing” as category in historical scholarship, etc. There will also be a display area to showcase projects, either in the form of a poster presentation, or online demos.

The conference organisers strongly encourage postgraduate students to submit either a paper or poster presentation; there is a bursary for postgraduate students (details on request). The publication of proceedings is intended.

Please send your proposal (max. 300 words) and a short CV to Dr Alexander von Lünen, University of Huddersfield (a.f.vonlunen@hud.ac.uk) before 15 January 2017.