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, May 14, 2011

CFP: The Return of King Arthur in the Post-Medieval World (12/1/11; Plymouth, NH 4/20-21/12)

Session Sponsored by The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
For the 33rd Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum
Plymouth State University (Plymouth, NH)
20-21 April 2011
Proposals by 12/1/11

According to legend, Merlin once prophesied that King Arthur would not die but come again and aid us in our darkest days. In fulfillment of this prophecy, Arthur and his surrogates have returned many times in fictional texts, and, although Arthur himself has failed to return in the flesh in the real world, we continue to believe in the legend of the Once and Future King and have often invoked it in times of crisis. Still, while the motif of Arthur redivivus remains a popular component of the modern intermedia Matter of Britain, few studies have addressed why this particular aspect of Arthurian myth has remained relevant in the post-medieval era. It is our intention to explore this neglected area of Arthurian Studies in this sponsored session.

For “Once and Future Kings? The Return of King Arthur in the Post-medieval World,” we are especially interested in studies that look at the invocation of the legend of the Once and Future King during flash points in history (like times of war and national crises) as these suggest the most vital components of its reception history, but we also hope that presenters will explore other uses of the motif in diverse genres and media from the close of the Middle Ages to the present day.

No later that 1 December 2011, interested individuals should submit full contact information (name, address, phone/cell, and email), paper titles, and abstracts of 300-500 words to the session organizers, who will then forward them to the conference committee. Address all inquiries and proposals to the organizers at the following address: and include “Once and Future Kings” in the subject line.

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