Seminar 1: Intro to Arthur and why the Dark Ages weren’t Dark
Looking at the very origins of King Arthur, we situate this mythical king in the 6th century of Britain and try to figure out exactly who he was uniting and what he was fighting against, and what the withdrawal of the Roman Empire meant for the Britons.
Seminar 2: Medieval Arthur – how he changed chivalry and vice versa
Depictions of King Arthur actually varied a lot, depending on when and where these stories originated! We’re going to compare the English and French traditions and see how chivalry started off as a code of honor, but transformed into a spiritual ideal.
Seminar 3: The “Matter of Britain”: Why Arthur will never be ‘just a fictional king’ in the UK
While no one necessarily believes King Arthur lies asleep, waiting for Britain to need him again, and while his existence was doubted even in the Middle Ages, King Arthur still shaped a large part of what Britain tried to be. We’ll look at his political ramifications up until the 19th century.
Seminar 4: Once and Future: How the 19th and 20th centuries gave Arthur a new lease on life
The Victorians revived interest in King Arthur, ensuring that his legacy, and nostalgia for that Golden Age would never die. What was it about the Victorians in particular that provoked such love for Britain’s mythical past?
Seminar 5: The Continued Search for the Holy Grail: King Arthur in multimedia
Monty Python wasn’t the first to poke fun at the Arthurian legend, nor were they the last. Why has King Arthur and his knights captured modern imaginations so much? We’ll examine Arthur in film and tv shows in this week.
Seminar 6: Future and Once: How will Arthur endure the 21st century?
The explosion of Arthurian stories in the 21st century is astounding! We’ll review the variety of Arthurs we’re gifted with from around the world, and sum up how and why Arthur remains so popular.