Events Calendar
Dec 8 - Dec 9
13:00 - 18:00
Play, Recreation and Experimentation
Centre for Modern European Literature Conference
Interdisciplinary conference

This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore relations between play, recreation, and experimentation by examining their articulations in literature and the arts (broadly understood as the visual arts, architecture, music/sound art, film) from the early modern period to the present day. 

8 Dec 2017

1-1:30pm Coffee and registration

1:30pm Start of conference

1:30-2:20pm Keynote 1: Peter Dayan (Edinburgh): 'What were they playing at?' Chance in art, and how Dada put it in its placeChair: Xiaofan Amy Li (Kent)

2:30 – 4pm Panel 1: PoetryChair: Xiaofan Amy Li (Kent)

  • Richard David Williams (SOAS): Rajput Play: practicing aesthetics in courtly culture
  • Kate Costello (Oxford): Machine Translation, Cyberbabble, That Ringing in My Ears: On Multimedia Practices in Hsia Yu's Experimental Poetry        
  • Alexander Alonso (York): Playing the Fool: Paul Muldoon's Nonsense

4 -4:30pm Coffee/tea break

4:30-6pm Panel 2: Space and AestheticsChair: Samuel McAuliffe (Goldsmiths)

  • Lucie Glasheen (Queen Mary): Play, transformation and the re-newing of urban space in the children's cartoon 'Casey Court'
  • Jennifer Gustar (University of British Colombia): Ludic Feminism and Literary Liminality
  • Yaniv Hagbi (Amsterdam): The Horror of the Errorless Play: Georges Perec, Dennis Potter, and William Golding

9 Dec 2017

9:30-10:20am Keynote 2: Ulrike Zitzlsperger (Exeter): Capital Games: The Politics and Culture of Recreation in Interwar BerlinChair: Reinhard M. Moeller (Goethe University, Frankfurt)

10:30-12:00pm Panel :3 Playful QualitiesChair: Barbara Bollig (University of Hagen)

  • Reinhard M. Moeller (Goethe University, Frankfurt): Playing, Experimenting and Coping with Chance: Serendipity as a Creative Paradigm in Literature and Theory
  • Samuel McAuliffe (Goldsmiths): Decorum and Insolence in Robert Walser's Dialectic of Manners
  • Cornelia Rémi (LMU Munich and University of Tübingen): Radical Playfulness: World Hacks and Survival in Contemporary German Writing

12:00-1:00pm lunch with coffee/tea

1-1:50pm Keynote 3: Thomas Karshan (UEA): Nabokov Playing on the Flowered Brink of Parody: Teaching through PlayChair: Alexander Alonso (York)

2-3:30pm Panel 4. Philosophy and literature in playChair: Helena Taylor (Exeter)

  • Jordi Larios (St Andrews): Benjamín Jarnés's playful fictionalization of Ortega's 'raciovitalismo': Viviana y Merlín (1929)
  • Elodie Laugt (St Andrews): Senses of 'play' at work in Jacques Rancière's reading of Mallarmé
  • Barbara Bollig (University of Hagen): Toying with Text(ure)s: Un-Mythicising Margwelaschwili's "Medea" and the Ontotext

3:30-4:00pm Coffee/tea break

4-5:30pm Panel 5: Ludic Strategies Chair: Lucie Glasheen (Queen Mary)

  • Hugh Haughton (York): 'A queer-looking party': The Games of Nonsense
  • Tiago Hirth (University of Lisbon): Luca Pacioli's Jokes
  • Anna Reynolds (York): 'To Play with False Dice in a Corner o[f] the Cover': Wastepaper Play in the Works of Thomas Nashe 

Closing remarks and end of conference.

Visit the event web page

To book, please see:


Canterbury Cathedral Lodge
United Kingdom


Open to All students and staff,

£25 for both days, including one lunch and coffee/refreshments.

Contact: Dr Xiaofan Amy Li


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Last Updated: 10/01/2012