State of the Field (Fall 2000)
- Dear list members,
This appears to be a great year for academic research in Arthurian popular culture studies. In March at the Toronto Sheraton, the Arthurian Legends Area of the Popular Culture Association offered a full day of papers on such diverse topics as comics, fiction, film, and television. Two months later, there were some great papers on Arthurian film and television (including one on Witchblade) at the International Medieval Conference at Kalamazoo. This summer (despite some members of the Society's reluctance to accept modern Arthuriana) there were a number of papers on Arthurian film, fiction, and illustration at the International Arthurian Society's triennial congress.
In terms of print resources, we have already seen the publication of Elizabeth Sklar and Donald Hoffman's King Arthur in Popular Culture (McFarland), which includes a number of informative essays including those by list members Dan Nastali (on music) and Jason Tondro (on comics); Alan Lupack's New Directions in Arthurian Studies (D. S. Brewer), a collection based on papers presented at the Camelot 2000 conference held in 2000 at the University of Rochester (home of The Camelot Project online resource <http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/cphome.stm>); Arthur Groos and Norris J. Lacy's Perceval: A Casebook (Routledge) with essays on film and fiction; and Kevin J. Harty's Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays, Revised Edition (McFarland), the essential reference for Arthurian film studies. Later this year, D. S. Brewer will publish a collection on the Arthurian legend in music.
On a more personal note, I have recently completed an essay on the return of King Arthur in the comics for a new book on Arthurian juvenilia for Palgrave Macmillan edited by Barbara Tepa Lupack (co-editor of King Arthur in America). The essay is a revision of a paper I presented at Camelot 2000. This version covers Arthur's return through reenactment (including a nice section on the X-men) and substitution, and with the editor's permission it will be uploaded to the comics list "files". Also, I have recently received word that my paper on Merlin in the comics has been accepted for inclusion on a panel at the International Medieval Conference next May at Kalamazoo. The panel is on Arthurian illustration and sponsored by the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society.
Lastly, does any one else have any good news about publications? I'm starting work on a listing of scholarship on twentieth-century (and twenty-first-century) Arthuriana for the popular culture list home page <http://home.att.net/~mtorregrossa/arthpchome.htm>, and I'd like to be as comprehensive as possible. You can also send information on other periods as well. Arthurian studies are a continuing tradition, and this list will not discriminate between periods.
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