IASH Speaker Series presents talk on King Arthur’s Court
April 2, 2013Tweet
The textual tradition of King Arthur and his knights spans over a millennium and a half, and while the tradition originated in the British Isles in the 6th century, it has since spread to encompass literature throughout the world. As such, the texts of the Arthurian canon are one of the contact zones where multiple sociopolitical entities interact to create a new community. Maloney examines the numerous cross-cultural interactions and interplays of power that took place within medieval Western Europe by looking at the Arthurian canon through the lens of the character as both knight of the Round Table as well as Arthur's traditional antagonist. If we trace how that character's imaginary affiliations have shifted, we can establish the importance of contemporary geographical affiliation and how this was established on the basis of a regional community, rather than being based on the political influence of a larger kingdom. Maloney explores the character’s connections to identity based on this characterization, and how regional and ethnic identities intersect and were portrayed in the medieval West.