Arthur transmédial / Transmedial Arthur (Valenciennes)

Hauts-de-France Polytechnic University, Valenciennes

November 12 and 13, 2020

Arthur transmedial

the legend of king Arthur between cinema, series, comics, music and games

The legend of King Arthur has experienced a revival thanks to the success of new media and mass culture. Very popular until the XVIe century, first in medieval manuscripts then in Renaissance prints, it partially overshadowed in the XVIIe-XVIIIe centuries before experiencing a new boom from the XIXe. In the XIXe-XXecenturies, modern rewritings multiply and medieval sources – novels in verse by Chretien de Troyes (XIIecentury) as well as the 13th century prose novelse century (Little Cycle by Robert de Boron, Vulgate cycle, Tristan in prose, Perlesvaus…) – become accessible again thanks to scholarly editions. Today, this legend, resolutely “transmedial”, circulates in the cinema, television series, comics, music and even the world of games.

This conference aims to question the process of transmediality at work in productions linked to the legend of King Arthur, the mechanisms of “migration” implied by these transpositions to other media, the ways in which these old stories interact with the The contemporary world. We may be interested in particular, but not exclusively, in the transmedial destiny of certain Arthurian heroes – such as Arthur, Merlin, Guenièvre, la fée Morgane, la Dame du Lac, Perceval, Lancelot – or certain themes or emblematic elements of the myth, such as the quest for the Grail, the wars fought by King Arthur, the initiatory journey of each knight, the female figures of legend. How did the emergence take place and how do we assess the persistence of creations that could be described as “para-Arthurian”?

Communication proposals, maximum 300 words (with 5-6 keywords), followed by a brief bio-bibliographic notice, should be sent to the organizing committee no later than June 15, 2020: [email protected]

Responses to participants will be communicated around July 15, 2020.

Organizers: Emanuele Arioli and Brigitte Friant-Kessler.


Hauts-de-France Polytechnic University, Valenciennes

November 12 and 13, 2020

Transmedial Arthur

The Arthurian legend in film, series, comics, music and games

The legend of King Arthur has widely benefited from the emergence of new media, mass production and what Henry Jenkins theorized 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 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:

[email protected]

Deadline for proposals:

June 15, 2020

Date of acceptance:

July 1-15, 2020


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