Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Monsters at Arthurian Congress 2014

Of interest if you're in Romania this summer:

XXIV Triennial Congress of the International Arthurian Society - University of Bucharest
(full program at http://arthuriancongress.unibuc.ro/programme/)

Friday, July 25th

Panel 3 : 11.50-13.00
Arthur et le monde des revenants
Paper 3 (of 3): Heidi STØA (Indiana University Bloomington), The Ghost and the Otherworld in the Awntyrs off Arthure at the Terne Wathelyne


Panel 1: 15.20-17.20
Thematic Pannel : Children of the (K)night: Arthurian Bad Boys and Mean Girls
Organizer : Kevin J. HARTY (La Salle University, Philadelphia)
Participants:
Paper 1 (of 7!): Christine NEUFELD (Eastern Michigan University), Bloodlines: The Sanguine Semiotics of Dracula vs. King Arthur


Monday, January 20, 2014

Jack the Giant Slayer

A final post for the night. The recent film Jack the Giant Slayer offers a fresh take on the traditional story:


Shrek the Third!

On the subject of the Monstrous Matter of Britain on film, I would be remiss if I omitted the recent film Shrek the Third. The film brings the characters from the Shrekverse into a pre-Arthurian world when the ogre Shrek goes in search of a young Arthur to replace Shrek and his bride Fiona (another ogre) as the rulers of Far Far Away. Familiar Arthurian figures turn up in cameos as students at Arthur's school, and a befuddled Merlin is instrumental in getting the heroes home to face the villain of the film, Prince Charming.


Monsters of Quest for Camelot

Sorry for being away so long (again). I'm always thinking about the Monstrous Matter of Britain but, unfortunately, rarely writing much about it. One important text to consider is the 1998 feature film Quest for Camelot. The film, which is essentially a comedy, includes a variety of monsters including griffins, dragons, ogres, and shape-shifted beings.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Monster CFPs

I've just uploaded a bunch of calls for papers on monsters and the supernatural to the Popular Preternaturaliana site. Many seem amendable to Arthurian and/or medieval subjects. The blog can be accessed at http://popularpreternaturaliana.blogspot.com/.

Michael Torregrossa

Friday, August 23, 2013

Zombie Arthuriana at MAPACA 2013

I've had a paper proposal accepted for the 2013 meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association in Atlantic City this November. My paper will be part of a session on medieval monsters and monstrous medievalism. Complete details as follows:

Medieval Monstrosity

This panel analyzes the use of the monstrous in modern narratives that make use of the medieval as well as in the original texts.

Presentations

  • Camelot and the Walking Dead: The Zombies of the Matter of Britain and the Development of Arthurian Horror Fiction
    Michael A Torregrossa (The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain)
  • A Study of the Human Condition Through the Frame of Myth and Magic in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    Christina Doka
  • Will the Real Monsters Please Stand Up:
    Diana Vecchio (Widener University)
Session chair: 
Mary Behrman (Kennesaw State University)

For those interested,the complete program can be accessed at http://mapaca.net/conference/schedule, and registration information can be found at http://mapaca.net/conference/2013/conference-registration.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead

I know I've posted on this to (at least) one of the other blogs, but it is most appropriate here. The recent film Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead by Jordan Galland is a skillful reworking of a mass of traditions--including Arthurian and Shakespearean--that creates an innovative take on undead Arthuriana. First up is the official trailer, and then an in-film video devoted to the film's unique spin on Grail lore (see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahe0x41ktqU for Hamlet's back story in the film).







The Mini-Monsters!

Besides Blazing Dragons, Arthurian figures feature prominently with Universal-Studio-styled monsters in the animated series The Mini-Monsters, which aired as part of The Comic Strip. Melvin, the young magician, is Merlin's son, and the master mage often functions as deus ex machina in the series.



Blazing Dragons Clip

The Monstrous Matter of Britain is not all bad, as this clip from the animated series Blazing Dragons, created by Terry Jones and Gavin Scott, illustrates. The series is not unavailable on home video but can be viewed from instant video providers and file-sharing sites, like YouTube.



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Alliance/Blog Upates August 2013

As posted to the main blog:

Effective August 2013, the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain has been absorbed by the revived Society for Arthurian Popular Culture Studies (founded 2000) and the resulting organization named The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain. The new group will function for the remainder of 2013 as an affiliate of The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages and be based at the King Arthur Forever website at KingArthurForever.org. This site will be maintained as time permits.

Further details can be found on King Arthur Forever at http://kingarthurforever.blogspot.com/2013/08/king-arhur-forever-reborn.html.


Michael A. Torregrossa
Co-Founder, The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
Founder, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Arthurian Monster Quest at Kalamazoo

Time and technology continue to conspire against me, but here (at last) are the details of the Arthurian Monster Quest session.

Saturday, 11 May 2013 at 1:30 PM
Session 422, Fetzer 1005
Arthurian Monster Quest: Investigating the Monsters of the Arthurian Tradition (A Roundtable)
Sponsor: Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain

Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain
Presider: Charlotte A. T. Wulf, Stevenson Univ.

Ysbaddaden Pencawr: A Gentler Giant?
Lisa LeBlanc, Anna Maria College

The Giant of Mont-Saint-Michel: Grendelkin?
Kris Kobold, York Univ.

Monstrous Felines in Old French Arthuriana, or, There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Chapalu
Brandy N. Brown, Pennsylvania State Univ.

Lycanthropy and Absence in Arthur and Gorlagon
Angela Tenga, Florida Institute of Technology

“An Unsemely Sighte”: Medieval Arthurian Women as Monstrosities
S. Elizabeth Passmore, Univ. of Southern Indiana

Monday, October 15, 2012

Munster Masquerade

Frankensteinian Arthuriana (a variant of Undead Arthuriana) seems a relatively rare and underdeveloped sub tradition of Monstrous Arthuriana, yet it has some gems, including the premiere episode of television's The Munsters. In "Munster Masquerade," Herman Munster (a version of Frankenstein's monster) attends a Halloween party in the guise of King Arthur and much comedy ensues. The episode can be viewed on Amazon and from iTunes, and a number of images (including the one accompanying this post) are available from SitcomsOnline.com at http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=141243.


Updates

Many apologies for the long delay in updating the site (and responding to your emails). Below are the details of our sponsored session for next year's Medieval Congress. I will add further content to the blog as time permits.


Arthurian Monster Quest: Investigating the Monsters of the Arthurian Tradition (Roundtable)
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain

Presider: Charlotte A. T. Wulf, Stevenson University

Paper 1: Ysbaddaden Pencawr: A Gentler Giant?
Lisa LeBlanc, Anna Maria College

Paper 2: The Giant of Mont-Saint-Michel: Grendelkin?
Kris Kobold, York University

Paper 3: Monstrous Felines in Old French Arthuriana, or There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Chapalu
Brandy N. Brown, The Pennsylvania State University


Paper 4: Lycanthropy and Absence in Arthur and Gorlagon
Angela Tenga, Florida Institute of Technology


Paper 5: “An Unsemely Sighte”: Medieval Arthurian Women as Monstrosities
S. Elizabeth Passmore, University of Southern Indiana


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Arthurian Monster Quest CFP

CALL FOR PAPERS
ARTHURIAN MONSTER QUEST
INVESTIGATING THE MONSTERS OF THE ARTHURIAN TRADITION, MEDIEVAL THROUGH MODERN
A SESSION FOR THE 48TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON MEDIEVAL STUDIES (WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, KALAMAZOO, MI) FROM 9-12 MAY 2013
SPONSORED BY THE ALLIANCE FOR THE PROMOTION OF RESEARCH ON THE VILLAINS OF THE MATTER OF BRITAIN
PROPOSALS BY 1 SEPTEMBER 2012 (EARLY SUBMISSION RECOMMENDED)

Inspired by the pioneering work of Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, teratology, the study of monsters, is experiencing a renaissance of late in Medieval Studies. Much of this new work has been conducted under the auspices of MEARCSTAPA (Monsters: the Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory and Practical Application), but there remain other avenues to explore, especially with regards to fields of interest, like Arthurian Studies, that stretch outside the medieval and into the various eras of post-medieval history. In sponsoring this session, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain hopes to offer some much needed illumination into the darker parts of Arthur’s realm and provide some sense of the history of the monsters that dwell in these shadows.

In existence for nearly fifteen hundred years, the Matter of Britain, the body of myths and legends associated with King Arthur and his court, has long been linked with the supernatural, chiefly in Arthur’s own nebulous fate as the Once and Future King and in the wonder-workings of the incubus-spawned Merlin, the fairy women variously called the Lady of the Lake, and Arthur’s sibling Morgan le Fay, who is of human origin despite her otherworldly title. These characters have all received much attention from scholars, but the larger mass of Arthurian preternature has not. Besides these examples, the denizens of Camelot presented in medieval texts encounter many further mystical creatures, all of which we might consider as unnatural, or monstrous, today, including demons, dragons, the Fair Folk, figures we would now label as witches, giants, griffins, hellhounds, the restless dead, unicorns, werewolves, and, who can forget, the enigmatic Questing Beast. These monsters, although important features of their respective narratives, have all received little attention in modern scholarship. Their successors have received even less attention, despite the continuance of all of these preternatural beings in post-medieval Arthurian texts, including such extremes as the Blazing Dragons franchise, which recasts Arthurian figures as anthropomorphic dragons. In addition, as the corpus of Arthuriana has expanded exponentially following the close of the Middle Ages, this new Matter of Britain has also introduced additional creatures of the night (such as ogres, vampires, zombies, and a plethora of new creations featured in the Merlin television series) not found in medieval tales of Arthur’s court. Modern Arthurian texts, moreover, have expanded the provenance of the monstrous and transformed ordinary figures from the legend into monsters. It is this world of Arthurian monsters that we seek to explore in these sessions with the intent of opening up their realm for further discussion and appreciation.

Please note, all submissions will also be considered for a special issue of Arthuriana on the topic. Completed essays will be due in June 2013.

PLEASE SUBMIT PROPOSALS OF 500 WORDS OR LESS, PARTICIPANT INFORMATION FORM (AVAILABLE AT http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html), AND A COPY OF YOUR CV TO THE ORGANIZERS AT ArthurianVillainyResearch@gmail.com PLEASE INCLUDE “KALAMAZOO 2013 PROPOSAL” IN THE SUBJECT LINE

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FOR THE PROMOTION OF RESEARCH ON THE VILLAINS OF THE MATTER OF BRITAIN, PLEASE ACCESS OUR BLOG AT http://ArthurianVillainyResearch.blogspot.com/

New Blog

Welcome to the latest web outreach of The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain. Please help us expand our links by emailing us.

Thanks,
Michael Torregrossa
Founder, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain