Michael Conrad, M.A.

Michael Conrad, M.A.


Projektmitarbeiter "Mudejarismo und maurisches Revival in Europa"


Michael A. Conrad studied philosophy and theatre studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Freie Universitaet Berlin. He graduated at Freie Universität with a thesis on photography as an artistic technique of playful self-fashioning in the work of Cindy Sherman. His dissertation deals with how playing was understood as a practice for coping with uncertainty in the Middle Ages, with the Libro de acedrex, dados e tablas (1283/84) by King Alfonso X of Castile and León as his main source. For the SNF project “Mudejarismo & Moorish Revival” headed by Prof. Dr. Francine Giese he works on the impacts of transcultural collaborations between Jews, Christians and Muslims on architectural and cultural developments in medieval Spain.

2012-2016: research assistant, Collaborative Research Centre 980 “Episteme in Motion. Transfer of Knowledge from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period”, Freie Universität Berlin

2011-2012: research assistant at the Centre for Media and Interactivity (ZMI), Justus Liebig University, Giessen

2011-2012: Member of the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Justus Liebig University, Giessen


  • “Persönliche Paradiese: John Cameron Mitchells Shortbus und die Utopie sexueller Erlösung”, in Kristin Flade,‎ Sascha Förster and‎ Rafael Ugarte Chacon (eds.), Paradiese am Rand. Studentisches Denken: Marginalie an der Universität?, Embesen: Oertzen, 2010, pp. 199-210.
  • “Papierlose Notizen: Zum Gebrauch von Handyfotografie als Mnemotechnik des Alltags”, in Henning Lobin, Regine Leitenstern, Katrin Lehnen and Jana Klawitter (eds.), Lesen, Schreiben, Erzählen. Kommunikative Erzähltechniken im digitalen Zeitalter, Frankfurt a.M./New York: Campus, 2013, pp. 83–106.
  • “Entscheidungsspuren: Ludische Interaktion als Quelle interrelationaler Ungewissheit im Spielebuch Alfons’ X. (1283)”, in Friedemann Kreuder and Stefanie Husel (eds.), Spiele spielen. Praktiken, Metaphern, Modelle, Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink, 2018, pp. 311-320.
  • “Gegner Zeit: Das Zeiterleben im Spiel im Spielebuch Alfons’ X.”, online publication for the Swiss Society for the Research of Symbols (in preparation).
  • “Ist das Spiel schuld? Vorüberlegungen zur Verantwortung ludischen Handelns im Mittelalter” for the proceedings of the workshop “Histories III: Dimensionen der Moral im Spiel”, University of Rostock 2016 (in preparation).
  • “The Playing Eye: The epistemological function of game miniatures in the late 13th century” for a volume edited by Vanina Kopp and Elizabeth Lapina for the series “Ludic Cultures, 1100-1700” (in preparation). 
  • “The Castle and the Lily: Samuel Ha-Levi’s Synagogue and the Crises of 14th-century Castile”, in Maria Portmann (ed.): Otherness in Space and Architecture (1250-1650). Peter Lang (in preparation).

Translation Work

  • Michael Bruce and Steven Barbone, Die 100 wichtigsten philosophischen Argumente, transl. Michael A. Conrad. Darmstadt, 2012 (WBG), 410 pages.
  • “Manfred Mohr. Vom Rhythmus zum Algorithmus”, Kulturamt Pforzheim, Pforzheim Galerie, 9. April-2. Juli 2017, Freiburg i. Br.: modo verlag, 2017.

Talks (selected)

  • “Who’s afraid of the gambling devil? Ludic dangers between rationalization and demonization“, 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA (May 15 2016).

  • “A Matter of Surprise: Toying as Material-discursive Art of the Possible”, Joint European Philosophy Conference of the Society for European Philosophy and the Forum for European Philosophy, Regent’s University London (Aug 25 2016).
  • “A jump into the open: John Peter Olivi’s theory of free will and risk”, Conference “Risking the Future. Vunerability, Resistance, Hope”, St John’s College, Durham University (UK), Matariki Risk Humanities Network (July 13 2016).
  • “Das spielende Auge. Über visuelle Strategien im Spielebuch Alfons’ X.”, panel discussion, Jitter’s Wunderblock No. 26, Salon für Kunst & Visuelle Kultur, Instituto Cervantes Berlin, April 6, 2017.
  • “When Warriors Become Teachers: King Alfonso X’s Cultural Program as an Instrument of Reconquest”, Conference “The Artistic Heritage of al-Andalus and National Identity”, organised by the Carl Justi-Association for the Promotion of Art Historical Cooperation with Spain, Portugal and Ibero-America, Humboldt University Berlin (Oct 27 2017).
  • With Janine Eisenächer, “Hearing coexistence: On the spatiality of sound and acoustic desires in objective encounters“, acoustic performance lecture, Sounding Out the Space: An International Conference on the Spatiality of Sound, Dublin School of Creative Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology (Nov 3 2017).
  • “Papery randomization. On the material-discursive history of playing cards (14th-16th century)”, University of Arizona, Tucson, (May 3-6, 2018, in preparation).
  • “Prudence in Play: Alfonso X’s Libro de acedrex e tablas as a Theory of Decision-Making”, 53rd International Conference on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo (May 10-13, 2018, in preparation).
  • “Playing memory: Thomas Murner’s didactical games as material-discursive practices”, International Medieval Congress, Leeds (July 2-5, 2018, in preparation).


Development of an intervention “Vom Wesir zur Dame” on the medieval history of intercultural knowledge transfer of the game of chess for the exhibition “Objects in Transfer” at the Museum for Islamic Art, Berlin (Opening: 4/28/2016).

Research Interests

  • Cultural exchange and coexistence
  • History and Theory of Game Culture and of Risk Perception
  • Cultural history of medieval Iberia
  • Knowledge transfer through visual strategies
  • Performing and gaming as research methods