Essay proposals are sought for a collection in development entitled The Games of War in British and American Literature, 1588-1783, which will examine the ways in which the discourses of games and warfare intersect in the British and American literary imagination from the Spanish Armada to the end of the American Revolution. The theme of the collection should be understood broadly, taking into account the complex signification of the concept of “the games of war” or “war-games,” something that Philipp von Hilger and Martin Van Creveld have begun to explore and theorize from a historical perspective in War Games: A History of War on Paper and Wargames: From Gladiators to Gigabytes. This collection will address a number of theoretical issues on the aesthetics, ethics, and politics of merging the discourses of games and warfare. While there is much to be done within the parameters of this collection with canonical works of literature, proposals that examine lesser known works of the period are encouraged.

Topics for individual essays may include the following:

  • Jousting in Edmund Spenser’s The Fairie Queene
  • Literary representations of the gambling, whoring Cavalier
  • War tropes as an instrument of rhetorical gameplay in religious and political tracts or popular ballads

Proposals of approximately 500 words should be submitted by 1 December 2016 to Holly Nelson ( and Jim Daems (

Contributors will be notified by 1 February 2017 if their essay proposals have been accepted. Completed essays will be due by 1 August 2017.