CFP – Lit, Lore, and Canon: Forms of Textuality in Medieval Digital Gaming – Proposals 2/15/16

Daniel Kline's picture
Call for Papers
February 15, 2016
Alaska, United States
Subject Fields: 
Digital Humanities, Humanities, Journalism and Media Studies, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies

CFP – Lit, Lore, and Canon: Forms of Textuality in Medieval Digital Gaming – Proposals 2/15/16

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 developed out of 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 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.

The games examined should have a recognizable connection to neomedieval settings, themes, or tropes, or the contributor should be able to make the case clearly. All game genres on any platform – including casual and mobile games – and games from any era are open to investigation. Some of the major, more popular medievally-inflected games (and series) include:

  • Age of Empires: Age of Kings
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Baldur’s Gate
  • Beowulf
  • Civilization
  • Crusader Kings
  • Dante’s Inferno
  • Dark Age of Camelot
  • Dark Souls
  • Diablo
  • Dragon Age
  • Dungeon Siege
  • Dynasty Warriors
  • Elder Scrolls
  • Fable
  • Game of Thrones
  • MediEvil
  • Medieval Total War
  • Morrowind & Oblivion
  • Sims Medieval
  • Shogun Total War
  • Skyrim
  • Star Wars
  • (World of) Warcraft

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; digital communities and electronic subjectivities; 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. 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

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?

Please send your 500 word proposals (and any questions) to Dan Kline, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of English, 3211 Providence Drive, ADM 101-H, Anchorage, AK 99508 or by February 15, 2016.



Contact Info: 

Dan Kline, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of English, 3211 Providence Drive, ADM 101-H, Anchorage, AK 99508 or

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