Ludics focuses on the concepts of play and games, widely interpreted. Interdisciplinary at its core, this forum aims by means of innovative approaches at fostering an open dialogue among scholars who are interested in exploring the ludic principle across a broad spectrum of human culture, from language games, education, theater, and performance to law, economy, and politics.

Upcoming Events

Chrysostomos Stamoulis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Did Jesus Christ Laugh?
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 6:30pm
Room S250, CGIS South


Did Jesus Christ laugh? Does laughter generate doubt? Is there room for laughter in the biblical tradition and patristic theology or is Christian life solely inextricably intertwined with seriousness and mourning? What is, in fact, the relationship between Christian faith and joy? Is John Chrysostom indeed the greatest opponent of laughter and drama? Why and how did such a debate stir the interest of such giants of literature as Charles Baudelaire, Hermann Hesse, Umberto Eco, and Nikos Kazantzakis? What are their respective positions in this matter?

In this paper Professor Chrysostomos Stamoulis will argue that the Christian church is not a cheerless community and that laughter, joy and desire do not negate the mystery of the Cross. In other words, what is at stake here is the interplay not between laughter and its overt rejection, but between its timely and untimely manifestation.

About the Speaker

Chrysostomos Stamoulis is Professor of Dogmatic and Symbolic Theology at the Department of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He studied Theology at the Universities of Thessaloniki (Greece), Belgrade (Serbia) and Durham (UK) and teaches the core module of Dogmatic and Symbolic Theology, as well as the following optional modules: Philocalic Aesthetics of Orthodoxy, Theology and Film, Contemporary Atheism, Science and Orthodox Theology. His major works include: Theotokos and Orthodox Dogma. A Study in the Theology of St Cyril of Alexandria, Palimpseston Publications, Thessaloniki 2003 (1996) • On Light. Personal or natural Energies? A contribution to the contemporary debate on the Holy Trinity in the Orthodox world, Palimpseston Publications, Thessaloniki 2007 (1999)• Sacred Beauty. An Introduction to the Philocalic Aesthetics of Orthodoxy, Akritas Publications 2010 (2004, 2005, 2008) • Lot’s Wife and Contemporary Theology, Indictos Publications, Athens 2008• Eros and Thanatos. Essay for a Culture of Incarnation, Akritas Publications, Athens 2009• As if I were a Stranger and a Wanderer, Or, Incarnation: The migration of Love, Akritas Publications, Athens 2011. Further papers and essays have been published in English, French, Italian, German, Serbian, Romanian, and Russian. In 2011-2013 he served his first term in office as Head of the Department of Theology and was re-elected for a further term (2013-2015). He undertook musical studies at the Macedonian and State Conservatories in Thessaloniki. He is principally engaged in choral music and composition and has made 5 CDs.

Shé Mackenzie Hawke, University of Sydney
The Play of Water from Mythic Metis to the Contemporary Beach: The Poetics of Aquamorphia
Monday, November 14, 2016 - 10:00am
Room 128, Barker Center


The Eleusinian and Bacchic, and Orphic Mysteries cite water as the moist diffusion that emanated from the Orphic Cosmic Egg: Eukosmia. This is the first "play" of Creation in the Mysteries from which all life was spawned. Common readings of Olympian myths are imbued with a playfulness that governs the Fate of human actors; play, however, is not always funny although it is often felicitously wed to tragedy, and common myth differs somewhat from the deeper mysteries (Taylor, 1798). Feminine deities are habitually rendered obsolete or consumed by male Gods on the cosmic game board, such as Zeus’ consumption of Athena’s mother Metis. Through a reading of Aquamorphia: Falling for Water (2014), and Anderson’s (1999) uptake of Ricoeur’s (1979) mimesis: prefiguration, configuration and refiguration, this paper narrates the drama of Olympian Genesis and wisdom through deep mythic time to the polyvalent agency of current water play.

About the Speaker

Shé Hawke is an award winning Australian poet and scholar from the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. She works through the multi foci of water as: language, resource, ancestor and deity. Her book Aquamorphia: Falling for Water (Interactive Publications) appeared in 2014, and is currently being translated into Greek.

Elena Mancini, Queens College in New York City
Reflections on Playful Prose and the Art of Translation
Friday, December 9, 2016 - 9:30am
Room 105, William James Hall


Drawing on cultural theories on translation as propounded by André Lefevere and his appeal to celebrate rather than domesticate the idiosyncrasies of a source culture, this presentation will discuss the art of translation as it pertains to the narrative prose of Romanian-born German novelist, Carmen-Francesca Banciu. Distinctive in style and structure, Banciu’s prose presents an interesting challenge for English language translation of her work. Richly metaphorical, rife with anaphora and characterized with a sentence structure that is skillfully elliptical and allusive, as well as deceptively simple and deliberately suggestive and ambivalent, Banciu’s prose is both playful and profound. In this talk, I will discuss the features of Banciu’s writing that render its translation into English engagingly problematic from both a technical and a cultural-philosophical point of view. On the basis of my own translations, I will also examine some compromises and adopted strategies for honoring the playful and the cultural authenticity of the source text, while also attending to natural, accessible and understandable rendering of it in the target language and resisting the pitfalls of over-domestication.

About the Speaker

Elena Mancini teaches German Language, Literature, Film and Writing at Queens College in New York City. She received her PhD in German Studies from Rutgers University, and has taught at Hunter College, Montclair University and Rutgers. She published a book on German-Jewish gay rights activist, Magnus Hirschfeld with Palgrave. Elena also serves as the Culture Editor of Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture, and is currently working on several German-English translation projects including the writings of Magnus Hirschfeld and works by Carmen-Francesca Banciu.

Cosponsored by the Advanced Training in Greek Poetry Translation and Performance Workshop.

Past Events 2016 - 17

Carmen-Francesca Banciu, Levure Littéraire
Transforming Materiality into Immateriality through Play: Reflections on the Intersection of Literature and Art
Timothy Moore, Washington University in St. Louis
Ludic Music in Ancient Greek and Roman Theater
Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Poet and Artist
Crisis, Performance: Inter/multi/plays

Past Events 2015 - 16

Mary Flanagan, Dartmouth College
Constance Rinaldo, Harvard University
Purposeful Gaming
Andromache Karanika, University of California, Irvine
Τhe Dissonance of Ludic Poetics in Greek 
Wedding Song Tradition: A Workshop on the "Interdiscursivity" between the Epithalamia and the Laments in Greek Antiquity
Franziska Naether, University of Leipzig
Casino Royale in Ancient Skyscrapers? On Recent Finds from Roman Tower Houses in Tuna el-Gebel (Egypt)
Danuta Fjellestad, Uppsala University
The Ludic Impulse in Post-Postmodern Fiction
Christian Gütl, Graz University of Technology
Johanna Pirker, Graz University of Technology
Crossing: Virtual Experiences, Games, and Teaching
Panos Panay, BerkleeICE
Creativity and Entrepreneurship
John Robinson-Appels, Columbia University
Comedy, Physicality, and Ludic Dance Gestures
Maria Zervos, Emerson College
The Interplay of Poetry and the Moving Image in the Art of Maria Zervos
Panos Bosnakis, Center of Avant-Garde Studies
The Greatest Mother of All that is Called Poetry
Dean Kostos, Award-Winning Poet
Scheme and Schemata: Endless Play

Past Events 2014 - 15

Zoa Alonso Fernández, Harvard University
Ludi, Ludic, Ludicrous: Choreographing Rome from Spartacus to Caligula
James N. Stone, Boston University
Playing Scrabble with Sappho: A Translation Workshop for Anyone Interested in the Interplay of Poetry, Translation, and Play
Mary Yossi, University of Athens
Laughter in Greek Lyric Poetry
Nicole Nolette, Harvard University
Games Translators Play in Bilingual French-Canadian Theater

Past Events 2013 - 14

Amy Ogata, Bard Graduate Center
Playing with Design: Cultivating Childhood Creativity in Postwar America
Brian Waniewski
Playing to Engage: How to Revitalize Society
Patrick Hutchinson, Brown University
Panayotis League, Harvard University
Tom Zajac, Wellesley College
Sounds from Europe's Margins: Bagpipes in Boston