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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Arthurian Pedagogy in Christianity and Romance in Medieval England

Published last year by D. S. Brewer:

Christianity and Romance in Medieval England
Edited by Rosalind Field, Phillipa Hardman, and Michelle Sweeney

First Published: 15 Apr 2010
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843842194
Pages: 226
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: D.S.Brewer
Series: Christianity and Culture: Issues in Teaching/Research
Subject: Medieval Literature

The relationship between the Christianity of medieval culture and its most characteristic narrative, the romance, is complex and the modern reading of it is too often confused. Not only can it be difficult to negotiate the distant, sometimes alien concepts of religious cultures of past centuries in a modern, secular, multi-cultural society, but there is no straightforward Christian context of Middle English romance - or of medieval romance in general, although this volume focuses on the romances of England. Medieval audiences had apparently very different expectations and demands of their entertainment: some looking for, and evidently finding, moral exempla and analogues of biblical narratives, others secular, even sensational, entertainment of a type condemned by moralising voices.

The essays collected here show how the romances of medieval England engage with its Christian culture. Topics include the handling of material from pre-Christian cultures, classical and Celtic, the effect of the Crusades, the meaning of chivalry, and the place of women in pious romances. Case studies, including Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Malory's Morte Darthur, offer new readings and ideas for teaching romance to contemporary students. They do not present a single view of a complex situation, but demonstrate the importance of reading romances with an awareness of the knowledge and cultural capital represented by Christianity for its original writers and audiences.



1 Introduction
2 Medieval Classical Romances: The Perils of Inheritance
3 Celticity and Christianity in Medieval Romance
4 Crusading, Chivalry and the Saracen World in Insular Romance
5 How Christian is Chivalry?
6 Magic and Christianity
7 Subverting, Containing and Upholding Christianity in Medieval Romance
8 Female Saints and Romance Heroines: Feminine Fiction and Faith among the Literate Elite
9 Athelston of the Middle English Nativity of St Edmund
10 Romance Traditions and Christian Values in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
11 Questioning Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Teaching the Text through its Medieval English Christian Context
12 Teaching Malory: A Subject-Centred Approach

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Arthuriana Special Issue on 19th-Century Arthuriana

The latest number of Arthuriana (21.2) for Summer 2011 includes the following contents of interest:

Alan Lupack 3

'Recalled to Life': King Arthur's Return and the Body of the Past in Nineteenth-Century England
Megan L. Morris 5

All Dressed Up: Revivalism and the Fashion for Arthur in Victorian Culture
Inga Bryden 28

Sacred Relics: Travelers and the Holy Grail
Roger Simpson 42

The Arctic Arthur
Stephen Knight 59

Popular Images Derived from Tennyson's Arthurian Poems 90
Alan Lupack


Laurie A. Finke and Martin B. Shichtman, Cinematic Illuminations: The Middle Ages on Film
Kevin J. Harty

Tadahiro Ikegami, trans., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Kuniko Shoji

Program Available for 2011 Arthurian Congress

The program for the 23rd International Congress of the International Arthurian Society to be held at Bristol University, Bristol, England, from 25-30 July 2011, is now available online and can be accessed at the following link: Further details and registration information can also be accessed there.

Sessions on the Arthuriana of modern popular culture include:


2-3:30 PM

A. Arthur and the Arts
Sponsor: North American Branch
Moderator: Barbara Tepa LUPACK
1. Ann F. HOWEY (Brock University) – What Power Have Words?: Musical Interpretations of Elaine’s Letter to Lancelot
2. Alan LUPACK (University of Rochester) – Illuminating Arthurian Texts – in the Nineteenth Century
3. Andrew B. R. ELLIOTT (University of Lincoln) – Locating Arthur in the Visual Arts

E. Arthur in the Seventeenth Century
1. Toshiyuki TAKAMIYA (Keio University) – Peter Heylyn’s Reference to the Healing of Sir Urry in Microcosmos(1625)
2. Helen COOPER (University of Cambridge) – Milton’s Unwritten Arthuriad
3. Michael WENTHE (American University, Washington D.C.) – The Yiddish King Arthur in the Seventeenth Century: Tradition and Transformation

8:00 PM
Public Lecture: Richard BARBER
King Arthur and The Public: Popular Reaction to the Arthurian Legend


9:15-10:45 AM
D. Échos arthuriens tardifs
2. Fanny MAILLET (Paris-Sorbonne University/University of Göttingen) – Arthur, en mieux: le monde imaginaire de la Table Ronde au XVIIIe siècle à travers l’exemple des faux extraits de la Bibliothèque universelle des romans

E. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
2. Daniel NASTALI (Independent Scholar) – Jessie Weston and the Green Knight

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
E. Iberian Connections
1. Juan Miguel ZARANDONA (University of Valladolid) – The Originality and Creative Achievement of the Merlin, An Opera by Albéniz and Money-Coutts
2. Carlos A. Sanz MINGO (Cardiff University) – King Arthur in the Arena: Spanish Arthurian Texts

1:45-3:15 PM

A. Time for Arthur: Ideological Deployments of Arthurian Space
Moderator: Siân ECHARD (University of British Columbia)
3. Cory RUSHTON (St. Francis Xavier University) – Arthur and the Royal Navy, 1891-2009

D. Chicks in Chainmail: Arthurian Pedagogy for Girls
Moderator: Laurie FINKE (Kenyon College)
1. Susan ARONSTEIN (University of Wyoming) – The Queens of Avalon: William Forbush’s Arthurian Antidote
2. Roberta DAVIDSON (Whitman College) – When King Arthur is PG
3. Fiona TOLHURST (University of Geneva) – Contemporary Arthurian Fiction: Helping Girls to Be Heroic?
4. Amy KAUFMAN (Middle Tennessee State University) – ‘His Princess’: Incest, Purity Balls, and Arthurian Family Drama


11:40 AM - 1:10 PM

E. The Arthur of the Digital Publishing Age
Sponsor: CoDE (Cultures and Digital Economy) Research Institute, Anglia Ruskin University
Moderator: Andrew B.R. ELLIOTT (University of Lincoln)
1. Samantha RAYNER (Anglia Ruskin University) – Publishing Paratexts: An Arthurian Cover Up Story
2. Leah TETHER (Durham University) – Digitising Arthur: The Death and Rebirth of Codicology
3. Scott LLOYD (Aberystwyth University) – Searching for Arthur: Accessibility and Visibility in the Digital Age


9:15-10:45 AM

B. Arthur: Chronicle Traditions
2. Thea SUMMERFIELD (Utrecht University) – King Arthur for a Scottish King: James V

C. Arthurian Revivals
1. Roger SIMPSON (Independent Scholar) – Robert Trevelyan and Arthur Bell: Rejecting the Grail
2. Karen CHEREWATUK (St. Olaf College) – Minnesota's Grail Maidens: Abbey's Galahad Murals in the Guild House of the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour
3. Velma RICHMOND (Holy Names University) – King Arthur and his Knights for Edwardian Children
4. Philip C. BOARDMAN (University of Nevada) – Sir Thomas Malory, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Problem of Adaptation

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

B. Malory and the History of the Book
2. Yuri FUWA (Keio University) – The Editor at Work: Joseph Haslewood's Edition of Malory (1816)

E. Arthurian Ideals and Identities: Camelot
1. Anne N. BORNSCHEIN (University of Pennsylvania) – Queering Camelot: Transgressive Sexuality in Recent French Arthurian Fiction
2. Janina TRAXLER (Manchester College) – Saving Camelot

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Advance Notice Kalamazoo 2012

The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages has proposed the following sessions for the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies to be held from 10-13 May 2012. Further details on each session can be found by clicking the respective links.

Are You From Camelot? Recent Arthurian Film, Television, and Electronic Games as Innovators of the Arthurian Tradition and Their Impact (Roundtable)

The Comics Get Medieval at Kalamazoo: New Perspectives for Incorporating Comics into Medieval Studies Teaching and Research (Roundtable)