Cultures of Play, 1300-1700

Series editor: Bret Rothstein, Indiana University, USA

  • Play looms ever larger in academe: a growing body of scholarly literature lies at the nexus of strong current interest in material culture/the study of objects, performance studies, and childhood studies. At the same time, play has also begun to transform aspects of pedagogy - most notably, perhaps, through the rise of games as vectors for instruction. With these transformations comes, across disciplines, a concomitant shift in historical interest, one to which this series is dedicated.

    Dedicated to the ludic Renaissance in Europe, this series serves two purposes. First, it recounts the history of early modern wit, humor, and games, from backgammon and tops to bulls and tractates. Second, in addressing its topic broadly, Cultures of Play, 1300-1700 also provides a forum for reconceptualizing the play elements of early modern economic, political, religious, and social life. We welcome proposals from a range of disciplines, including history, religious studies, the history and philosophy of science, literature, theater history, philosophy, and the history of art and visual culture.
  • For more information on how to submit a book proposal to the series, please contact Erika Gaffney, at
  • About the series editor: Bret Rothstein teaches in the Department of the History of Art at Indiana University, Bloomington. A scholar of visual wit, he is the author of Sight and Spirituality in Early Netherlandish Painting (Cambridge: 2005), as well as essays in Art History, Dutch Crossing, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, Word & Image, and Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte. Since 2010, he has been conducting a series of oral histories with leading puzzle designers from around the world. The resulting audio archive will eventually form part of the Jerry Slocum Puzzle Collection in the Lilly Library at Indiana University, Bloomington.