SPECIAL SESSION OF THE ARTHURIAN LEGENDS AREA
MR. MERLIN'S NEIGHBORHOOD: THE MATTER OF BRITAIN ON TV
PROPOSALS DUE TO ORGANIZER BY 10/15/06
We seek papers of 15 to 20 minutes for inclusion in a session devoted to the Arthurian legend on television to be hosted by the Arthurian Legends Area at the 2007 meeting of the Popular Culture Association to convene at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, Mass., from 4-7 April 2007. In addition, submissions will also be considered for inclusion in an essay collection on the general topic of medieval themes on television. For potential topics and a bibliographic guide to the Arthurian (and the medieval) in electronic multimedia, please visit The Medieval Studies at the Movies web site at: http://MedievalStudiesattheMovies.org.
Thanks largely to the efforts of Arthurian film scholar Kevin Harty, most enthusiasts of American Arthurian popular culture are familiar with the wide variety of Arthurian-themed films that have been produced in the United States since the beginning of the twentieth century, yet relatively few of these individuals know about the equally active world of Arthurian television programming, which includes material produced in the United States as well as Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. For the initiated, the televisual Matter of Britain is a fascinating world, which includes animated series (most recently discussed by Michael Salda), comedies, documentaries, dramas, made-for-television movies, science fiction series, and westerns in addition to the expected action adventure and fantasy series. Like film, Arthurian television has produced some disappointments, such as Robert Mandell's PRINCESS GWENEVERE AND THE JEWEL RIDERS and Bobcat Goldwaithe's appearance as Merlin on ABC's SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, but, also like Arthurian film, Arthurian television has its gemsóJ. Michael Straczynski's "A Late Delivery from Avalon" episode of BABYLON 5, the Family Channel's THE LEGEND OF PRINCE VALIANT, and the Disney Channel's THE FOUR DIAMONDS come most immediately to mind. The purpose of this panel is to let the spotlight shine briefly on this ephemeral cousin to Arthurian film and allow those who know these works most intimately to share them with the wider audience that they deserve.
We are particularly interested in representations of Arthurian characters, relics, and motifs in episodic television (cartoons, dramas, sitcoms, science fiction, etc.) but will also consider proposals devoted to the following topics: documentaries, telefilms, and the performing arts on television. Be advised that audio/visual equipment will be limited to the following: DVD players and TV monitors.
Please submit abstracts of 250-500 words, by 15 October 2006, along with your paper title, complete contact information, and affiliation (if any), to the session organizer at the following address:
Michael A. Torregrossa
34 Second Street
Smithfield, RI 02917 -3627
Session organizer will distribute all submitted abstracts and contact information to the Arthurian Legends Area Chairs. All presenters must be members of either the Popular Culture Association or the American Culture Association. See their web site: http://popularculture.org for details.
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