Ludic Cultures, 1100–1700

Ludic Cultures treats medieval and early modern play in all its innumerable eccentricities, from toys and games to dramatic performances, courtly intrigues, and the like. Inspired by the broad definition first advanced by Johan Huizinga, but mindful of the constraints later proposed by Roger Caillois and Bernard Suits, this series publishes monographs and essay collections that address play as a complex phenomenon governed by a distinctly lusory attitude, but potentially expressing in virtually any facet of life. In this respect, the series promotes the documentation of cultural practices that have thus far eluded traditional disciplinary models. Our goal is to make visible modes of thought and action that until recently seemed impossible to trace, while contributing to a growing interest in playfulness both past and present.

Ludic Cultures Logo

Geographical Scope

Western Europe and the Americas

Chronological Scope



history of play, cultural history, history of games, social history, philosophy of play, board games studies

Proposals Welcome

The series welcomes the submission of both monographs and essay collections that view cultures in Europe and the Americas between 1100 and 1700 through the lens of play.

Editorial Contact

Titles in Production or Contracted

Robin O’Bryan (Messiah College), Games and Game Playing in Early Modern Art and Literature

Jessen Lee Kelly (University of Utah), Material Culture & Games of Chance in the Early Modern Netherlands


Currently Available Titles in This Series