The Arthurian legend in film, TV series, comics, music and games
An international conference on the Arthurian legend and its transmedial adaptations to be held 12-13 November 2020 at the Université Polytechnique Hauts de France, Valenciennes – ISH (Institut Sociétés & Humanités) with the kind support of the Research Unit DeScripto.
The legend of King Arthur has widely benefited from the emergence of new media, mass production and what Henry Jenkins theorised as participatory culture. Highly popular in the 16th century, first printed and circulated in medieval manuscripts, then later in books, Arthur as a figure was partly overshadowed in the 17th and 18th centuries but came back into fashion with Romanticism and the Medieval Revival period of the 19th century. Rewritings of the medieval sources such as the novel in verse by Chrétien de Troyes or 13th-century texts in prose (Petit Cycle de Robert de Boron, Cycle Vulgate, Tristan en prose, Perlesvaus…) helped to disseminate the legend.
Under the influence of film makers, screenwriters, composers and graphic artists the Arthurian legend has constantly been transformed, reshaped and redefined. From the 20th century onwards, and far from having fallen into oblivion, the Arthurian legend has spawned a large variety of adaptations and reappropriations. It migrated from film to TV series and even into the world of games, whether board games or video games. The legend has also inspired artists to create comic books, graphic novels, and compose musical pieces.
While Arthurian figures and myths in 19th-century Britain have long attracted scholarly attention, we invite contributions that examine how what may be termed « para-Arthurian forms » emerged in other media and what could account for the migration process. Those para-Arthurian forms have no doubt had an impact on the original medieval legend and therefore we seek to explore during that conference the way adaptations and appropriations can bridge cultural and aesthetic gaps between highbrow literature and popular culture.
Specific Arthurian characters may be selected for papers, such as Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, Morgan Le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, Percival, or Sir Launcelot. Major recurring themes and emblematic elements, places and objects on which the legend was built and thrived can also be addressed. The latter may comprise the quest of the Holy Grail, particular battles, rituals and rites of passage of the knights, as well as the role played by important female figures.
Beside a short biographical note, proposals in French or English, no longer than 300 words with 5-6 keywords, should be sent to the following email address:
Deadline for proposals :
June 15, 2020
Date of acceptance :
July 1-15, 2020
For further details regarding this conference you can contact me as well at