To me, methought, who waited with a crowd,
There came a bark that, blowing forward, bore
King Arthur, like a modern gentleman
Of stateliest port; and all the people cried,
"Arthur is come again: he cannot die."

"Morte d'Arthur" (1842)
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Arthuriana for Summer 2021 on Race and the Arthurian Legend

 A belated post. 

The most recent number of Arthuriana (for Summer 2021) was a special issue on "Race and the Arthurian Legend." Further details ate available from the journal's website at

Table of Contents



Richard Sévère 3

The Fragile Giant 

Wan-Chuan Kao

Romans, Celts, and ‘Others’: Residual Colonial Models and Race in Contemporary Arthurian Novel

Amelia A. Rutledge 40 


Writing Arthur’s Shadow and Speaking Otherwise  

Matthew Xavier Vernon 61


Broken Dreams: Medievalsim, Mulataje, and Mestizaje in the Work of Alejandro Tapia y Rivera

Nahir I. Otaño Gracia 77 


‘Many straunge synges and tokyns’: The Affective Power of Sir Thomas Malory’s Palomides

Kavita Mudan Finn 108 

An Arthurian Empire of Magic, and its Discontents: An Afterword

Geraldine Heng 124



News and Notes from the North American Branch 139  

[ View Article ] [ Subscribers Only ]  



C. Girbea, M. Voicu, I. Panzaru, C. Anton, and A. Popescu, eds., Miroirs arthuriens entre images et mirages: Actes du XXXIVe Congrès de la Societé Internationale Arthurienne

Amy E. Brown 170


Ann Howey, Afterlives of the Lady of Shalott and Elaine of Astolat

Roger Simpson 171 


Anna Karin, Männliche Hauptfiguren im ‘Tristan’ Gottfrieds von Strassburg. Characterisierung, Konstellation und Red  

Charles Taggart 173 


Tim William Machan and Jón Karl Helgason, eds., From Iceland to the Americas: Vinland and Historial Imagination

David F. Johnson 175 


Joanne Parker and Corinna Wagner, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Medievalism  

Kevin J. Harty 177 



Thursday, August 19, 2021

CFP Fair Unknowns: Extending the Corpus of Arthurian Texts (9/30/21; NeMLA Baltimore 3/10-13/2022)

CFP Fair Unknowns: Extending the Corpus of Arthurian Texts

Sponsored by the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain

For the 53rd Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association

To convene at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore, Maryland, from 10-13 March 2022

Proposals due by 30 September 2021

The Arthurian tradition has existed for over 1500 years, yet we still know only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true size of the corpus of Arthurian texts. Many works from earlier periods have been neglected, and new works continue to appear each year. It is our contention that all of these can be as interesting as those texts continually turned to by Arthurianists; please, help us in expanding our view of the canon. 

Call for Papers

Arthurianists excel at locating and cataloging representations of the Matter of Britain, and, as bibliographers, comicsographers, discographers, and filmographers, we have done much to expand our knowledge of the ways creators have made use of the tradition. However, our knowledge of the corpus still remains incomplete. An untold number of Arthurian texts from older eras remain missed by previous investigations (whether ignored, forgotten, or lost), while perhaps just as many are too new to have yet been the focus of critical analysis. Both omissions create unfortunate gaps in building a full history of the Once and Future King and those that surround him. A more complete picture of the reception of the legend is important for our understanding of how and why stories of Arthur and his court continue to be retold and can offer fresh insight to aid our teaching and research. The goal of this panel, then, is to create a nexus where the Arthurian past and present (and perhaps future) can meet in a space where we can set them into the larger context of the Matter of Britain and discuss and debate what makes them worth adding to the canon and how they can build and/or (re)shape of our critical understanding of Arthurian texts today.

Potential questions for discussion:

  • Is it worth maintaining a canon of Arthurian texts? 

  • Are value-laden terms like “Lesser Arthuriana” useful critical tools?

  • What Arthurian texts have yet to be discovered by scholars?

  • What Arthurian texts have been unjustly neglected?

  • What new Arthurian texts have been produced recently?

  • How does your text fit into/engage with the larger Arthurian tradition?

Submissions should be made directly into NeMLA’s conference management program at Potential presenters will need to create an account with NeMLA to submit a proposal (including a presentation title, brief abstract--not more than 250 words--of some talking points addressing our major questions, academic bio, and AV needs)and to become members of NeMLA should their proposal be accepted for the session. Notice of acceptance will be made after 1 October 2021. Please go to the website for details about session types and presenter guidelines.

Please address any other questions to the session organizers at We also welcome suggestions for resources (in print or online) that might be of value to the panel and its audience. 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Online Event: SWORD STONE TABLE: King Arthur’s Court Reenvisioned 8/3/2021

Hoping this works. The original is complex.

SWORD STONE TABLE: King Arthur’s Court Reenvisioned

August 3 • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Featuring Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices editor Jenn Northington and contributors Alexander Chee, Maria Davahna Headley, Daniel Lavery and Nisi Shawl in conversation with Dr. Dorsey Armstrong

With A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Mark Twain gave his own time travel twist to the Arthur legend. With Sword Stone Table, a whole new generation of writers bring their own takes on Arthur, Merlin, Mordred, Guinevere ,and Lancelot.

From the vast lore surrounding King Arthur, Camelot, and the Knights of the Round Table, comes an anthology of gender-bent, race-bent, LGBTQIA+ inclusive retellings. Here you’ll find the Lady of the Lake reimagined as an albino Ugandan sorceress and the Lady of Shalott as a wealthy, isolated woman in futuristic Mexico City; you’ll see Excalibur rediscovered as a baseball bat that grants a washed-up minor leaguer a fresh shot at glory and as a lost ceremonial drum that returns to a young First Nations boy the power and the dignity of his people. There are stories set in Gilded Age Chicago, ’80s New York, twenty-first century Singapore, and space; there are lesbian lady knights, Arthur and Merlin reborn in the modern era for a second chance at saving the world and falling in love—even a coffee shop AU.

Brave, bold, and groundbreaking, the stories in Sword Stone Table will bring fresh life to beloved myths and give long-time fans a chance to finally see themselves in their favorite legends.

Sword Stone Table features stories by:

Alexander Chee • Preeti Chhibber • Roshani Chokshi • Sive Doyle • Maria Dahvana Headley • Ausma Zehanat Khan • Daniel M. Lavery • Ken Liu • Sarah MacLean • Silvia Moreno-Garcia • Jessica Plummer • Anthony Rapp • Waubgeshig Rice • Alex Segura • Nisi Shawl • S. Zainab Williams

FREE program, but donations are gratefully accepted. REGISTER HERE.

Copies of Sword Stone Table signed by the editorsare available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store; proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will be shipped after the event. We regret that we are NOT able to ship books outside the United States as it is cost-prohibitive to do so.


About the Editors & Authors:

Swapna Krishna:

Jenn Northington:

Alexander Chee:

Maria Davahna Headley:

Nisi Shawl:

Daniel Lavery:

Our moderator: Professor Dorsey Armstrong

Professor Dorsey Armstrong—a specialist in medieval English literature—joined the Purdue faculty in 2002, where she currently serves as Head of the English Department. The holder of an A.B. in English and Creative Writing from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Medieval Literature from Duke University, she also taught at Centenary College of Louisiana and at California State University, Long Beach. Her research interests include medieval women writers, late-medieval print culture, and the Arthurian legend, on which she has published extensively. In addition to numerous articles published in journals such as Exemplaria and Arthurian Literature, chapters in various academic books, and serving as co-editor for several scholarly essay collections, she is the author of Gender and the Chivalric Community in Malory’s Morte d’Arthur (University Press of Florida, 2003), Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur: A New Modern English Translation Based on the Winchester Manuscript (Parlor Press, 2009) and Mapping Malory: Regional Identities and National Geographies in Le Morte Darthur (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014; co-authored with Kenneth Hodges). In January 2009, she became editor-in-chief of the academic journal Arthuriana, which publishes the most cutting-edge research on the legend of King Arthur, from its medieval origins to its enactments in the present moment.

Winner of numerous teaching awards—including Purdue’s Murphy Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction—Professor Armstrong has also written and taped several lecture series for The Teaching Company/The Great Courses. These include: “The Medieval World”; “Turning Points in Medieval History”; “Analysis and Critique: How to Engage With and Write About Anything”; “Great Minds of the Medieval World”; “1215: A Year That Changed History”; “King Arthur: History and Legend”; and “The Black Death: the World’s Most Devastating Plague.” Additionally, she has produced two short lecture series for Audible–one on “Powerful Medieval Women” and another on “Medieval Myths and Mysteries.” She currently sits on the executive and advisory boards for numerous scholarly and academic entities, the Bonnie Wheeler Fellowship, and the International Arthurian Society. She is currently at work editing a volume on Approaches to Teaching the Arthurian Tradition for the Modern Language Association.

Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign and its Travelers Arts Impact Grant program, with major support from The Travelers Foundation. For more information call 860-247-0998 or visit

Friday, July 23, 2021

CFP Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Brut (9/15/21; ICMS 2022)

Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Brut-ICMS 2022

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
International Lawman's Brut Society

This session calls for papers that explore ways to incorporate the Brut—Layamon’s Brut and its analogues—into interdisciplinary studies, seeking to situate the Brut in a broader academic and pedagogical context.  How can the Brut, a text that has traditionally defied categorization, provide a way to introduce the interdisciplinary nature of medieval studies?  How might different disciplinary approaches broaden the appeal of a medieval historical poem to twenty-first century students and readers?  The session encourages proposals on teaching the Brut as part of an interdisciplinary curriculum.  We welcome studies that combine traditional academic disciplines, such as history, literature, and art, but we also look for papers that approach the Brut from new perspectives, including, for instance, media and popular culture studies.  

Please submit proposals (250-300 word) to the ICMS submissions website ( by September 15.

Please direct any questions to:

Kenneth Tiller

Professor of English

University of Virginia-Wise

cfp Language, Space, and Place in the Brut (9/15/21; ICMS 2022)

Language, Space, and Place in the Brut-ICMS 2022

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
International Lawman's Brut Society

Scholarship on the Brut has begun to reexamine the role of space and place in the text’s presentation and readers’ reception of insular history.  The Brut texts provide fertile grounds for such discussions, as much of the legendary history documented in the Brut involves reshaping and redefining insular territory, including descriptions of the island and its wonders, the construction of cities and castles, the renaming of places and cities by rulers and conquerors, among others.  This session seeks proposals that further the critical conversation about territorial and textual space and its relation to language in the Brut and in its analogues.  We are particularly interested in proposals that examine ways the Brut texts engage medieval concepts of space and place: how is space defined, perceived, and navigated in the Brut?  How does Layamon’s own sense of place or space inform his identity?  Possible topics include: local space in the Brut, boundaries and territorial limits, text as space, Layamon in his West-Midlands context. 

Please submit proposals (250-300 word) to the ICMS submissions website ( by September 15.

Please direct any questions to:

Kenneth Tiller

Professor of English

University of Virginia-Wise

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Arthuriana Spring 2021 Contents

The latest issue:

Arthuriana, Vol. 31, No. 1

Spring 2021


(The journal can be purchased from the press and viewed at Project MUSE. It is also archived on JSTOR behind a moving wall.)

Table of Contents

‘Truth as They Heard’: Fama in Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur  
Louis J. Boyle 3

The Second Coming of King Arthur: Conspirituality, Embodied Medievalism, and the Legacy of John F. Kennedy  

Ellie Crookes



The Romance Forests of Medieval Iceland  
Maj-Britt Frenze



Love out of Measure: Comparing Malory’s Palomides and Lancelot  
Dana Omirova



Winner of the ‘Fair Unknown’ Award
They ‘Laȝed . . . Þoȝ Þey Lost’: Laughter in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight  
Jennifer Fast



Simon Armitage, Pearl: A New Verse Translation  
Ryan Buchanan Allen 116

María Odette Canivell Arzú, Literary Narratives and the Cultural Imagination: King Arthur and Don Quixote as National Heroes
Juan Miguel Zarandona 117

Glenn D. Burger and Rory G. Critten, eds., Household Knowledges in Late-Medieval England and France  
Wesley Chihyung Yu 119

Benjamin A. Saltzman, Bonds of Secrecy: Law, Spirituality, and the Literature of Concealment in Early Medieval England  
Craig R. Davis 121

Charles Russell Stone, The roman de toute chevalerie: Reading Alexander Romance in Late Medieval England  
Su Fang Ng 122


Arthuriana Winter 2020

Catching up:

Arthuriana, Volume 30, Number 4

Winter 2020



Table of Contents

‘I rebel against the story. I am sure the half of it was never told us’:
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’ ‘The True Story of Guenever’ and Nineteenth-Century Women in the Literary Marketplace
Virginia Blanton and Jennifer Phegley 3

The Hero and Severed Heads: Moral Display in the Prose Lancelot  

David S. King


Colgrevaunce’s Supposed Shame in Ywain and Gawain  
Ryan Naughton



Malory’s ‘Fyne Force’: Motion in Le Morte Darthur  
Thomas Schneider



Valerie Hansen, The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World—and Globalization Began  
Jonathan Good 70

Carissa M. Harris, Obscene Pedagogies: Transgressive Talk and Sexual Eduation in Late Medieval Britain
Amanda Joan Wetmore 73

Kevin J. Harty, ed., Medieval Women on Film: Essays on Gender, Cinema and History  
Susan Aronstein 74

Joachim Heinzle, Wolfram von Eschenbach: Dichter der ritterlichen Welt  
Judith Benz 76

Stephen Rayne, dir., Xcalibur, The Musical  
Kevin J. Harty 78


Rejected Again by Kalamazoo

I am sorry to report that our proposed sponsored session on "Fair Unknowns: [Re]Claiming Popular Representations of the Matter of Britain" was rejected for inclusion in the 57th International Congress on Medieval Studies.

The rationale for our dismissal was as follows:

Your proposal was rejected because its content was duplicated by other Arthuriana proposals that were more strongly conceptualized. The Committee believes that the subject of the Matter of Britain proposed by the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain can be addressed by papers submitted to those other sessions. 
The response is, in part, a valid critique. While there are a number of Arthurian-related sessions that were accepted, the majority appear limited in scope, both in terms of their temporal context and media focus--aspects we were concerned with widening. As our blog title denotes, King Arthur seems to be forever. The Arthurian tradition spans the past, present, and future. Focusing on the Arthuriana of now (as seems the plan of many of the accepted sessions) may fill Zoom rooms, but it doesn't help to explore (and hopefully start to fill) the gaps in our knowledge, as was our intent. Therefore, please be on the lookout for a related call, where we hope to continue our work elsewhere.

Michael A. Torregrossa
Founder, Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Guest Post - Mediavilla on Legendborn

Deonn, Tracy. Legendborn. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2020. The Legendborn Cycle 1. 501 pages. Hardcover: $18.99, ISBN 9781534441606.


Bree Matthews, a Black sixteen-year-old high-schooler, is about to start a pre-college residential program at UNC-Chapel Hill when she becomes embroiled in the machinations of a secret society, called “Legendborn,” made-up of students who are all blood descendants of King Arthur and his most trusted Knights of the Round Table. The Legendborn are on the verge of fighting an epic good-vs.-evil battle, known as Camlann, coming soon to campus. But not all is as it seems. The more Bree learns about the Legendborn, the more she suspects a connection to her mother’s recent death and so, with the help of Nick Davis, Arthur’s heir apparent, begins to investigate the group’s darker magical side. Along the way, she discovers her own magical powers, called “rootcraft,” which she traces back to her enslaved ancestors.


To become more familiar with the Legendborn ethos, Bree decides to train as a squire and, in so doing, becomes romantically involved with Nick. She also suddenly finds herself strangely attracted to Selwyn, Nick’s “Merlin” and protector, who recognizes in her a kindred spirit. Could Bree be destined to play an important role in the upcoming battle of Camlann even though she is not Legendborn?


Though overly complicated, the majority of the story is conveyed through dialog and so moves rather quickly. Nevertheless, the nearly 500-page book is too long by half, especially whenever Bree is tutored on the history of the Legendborn. Too much extraneous detail that, in the long run, has little to do with the plot. Furthermore, unlike other recent young adult novels set in Arthurian times, Legendborn takes place in the present-day, which demands more than a passing suspension of disbelief. Do the residents of UNC truly not hear the climactic battle that occurs on campus at the end of the book? And how does Bree find time to study between falling in love with Nick and training to become a squire?


Still, the novel remains compelling thanks to the author’s mostly subtle nods to the racial disparity Bree encounters as she struggles to become part of Nick’s all-too-White world. Ultimately, this is a contemporary—and extremely timely—parable about White privilege, told through the first-person eyes of a Black teenager descended from slaves. As Bree is acutely aware, the only people of color she sees at the Legendborn’s lodge are the servants who work for the students. Though she does not try to intentionally shatter the group’s color barrier, this is exactly what she eventually does. Looking gorgeous in a borrowed gown, she approaches the upscale club where a posh Legendborn gala is being held. “All right, sis,” the appreciative Black doorman says. They then knowingly smile at each other as Bree triumphantly enters the event (p. 401).


An “Instant New York Times Bestseller,” Legendborn was named to several “best books” lists of 2020/21, including YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), School Library Journal, Bookpage, New York Public Library, Indigo, BuzzFeed, and Amazon. Plus was named the winner of the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King “John Steptoe Award for New Talent” in 2021. This book is recommended for all readers who enjoy contemporary adaptations of the Arthurian canon. A Legendborn sequel is in the works.


Cindy Mediavilla


Cindy Mediavilla is a retired public librarian who has collected, read and written about Arthurian fiction for more than 40 years. Her publications include Arthurian Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography (Scarecrow Press, 1999), "From 'Unthinking Stereotype' to Fearless Antagonist: The Evolution of Morgan le Fay on Television" (Arthuriana 25:1), and an article on Arthurian romance in Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction (2018). Cindy's MLS and PhD are from UCLA, where she also taught as a lecturer for 16 years.



Saturday, May 22, 2021

CFP King Arthur in the Middle Ages and Beyond (7/09/21, 9/16-18/21)

King Arthur in the Middle Ages and Beyond; 7/09, 9/16-18


deadline for submissions: July 9, 2021

full name / name of organization: 

Center for Medieval-Renaissance Studies, University of Virginia-Wise

contact email:

This session is part of the 34th annual Medieval-Renaissance Conference, sponsored by the Center for Medieval-Renaissance Studies at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, September 16-18, 2021.  It welcomes proposals about all topics related to King Arthur as a figure in literature, history, and art.  The panel is particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches, such as the character of Arthur in romance and history, or in art and literature.  We also welcome proposals on:

  • Arthur in the Early Modern period
  • Arthur in Europe
  • Receptions of the Arthur story in non-Western cultures
  • Representations of Arthur in film, television, graphic fiction, and digital media
  • Arthur in the contemporary classroom

Please submit 250-300 word abstracts for papers, or 150-200 word panel proposals, plus abstracts, to Kenneth Tiller, Professor of English, University of Virginia-Wise,, by July 9th. 

Papers and panels may be presented in person or virtually via Zoom

Last updated May 20, 2021