Playthings in Early Modernity
Party Games, Word Games, Mind Games
Ed. by Levy, Allison
Aims and Scope
Why do we play games—with and upon each other as well as ourselves? When are winners also losers, and vice-versa? How and to what end do we stretch the spaces of play? What happens when players go out of bounds or when games go too far? Moreover, what happens when we push the parameters of inquiry: when we play with traditional narratives of ludic culture, when we rewrite the rules
An innovative volume of fifteen interdisciplinary essays at the nexus of material culture, performance studies, and game theory, Playthings in Early Modernity emphasizes the rules of the game(s) as well as the breaking of those rules. Thus, the titular plaything is understood as both an object and a person, and play, in the early modern world, is treated not merely as a pastime, a leisurely pursuit, but as a pivotal part of daily life, a strategic psychosocial endeavor.
- 352 pages