Launch of Bangor’s Centre for Arthurian Studies

Bangor University is celebrating the start of 2017 with the launch of a new Centre for Arthurian Studies on Friday 20 January, just as Wales begins to celebrate a Year of Legends. Throughout 2017 events will be held at historic sites the length and breadth of Wales in celebration of its rich culture and heritage.

Building on a long-standing international record of excellence in research, teaching and engagement in the area of Arthurian Studies that goes back to the foundation of the University and the University Library in 1884, this new Centre formalises the presence of this important area of study within Bangor University.

According to Professor Raluca Radulescu, ‘The new Centre celebrates more than 100 years of continuous scholarly activity in the areas of Celtic and Arthurian Studies, with particular achievements highlighted by the involvement of Arthurian scholars in the leadership of the International Arthurian Society (of which Emeritus Professor P.J.C. Field was President) and the editorship of the society’s journal’.

Professor Radulescu goes on to say: ‘Bangor University offers the only MA in Arthurian Literature in the world, and Bangor alumni have gone on to international careers in higher education, publishing and librarianship. Bangor University Library’s Arthurian holdings have benefited from the arrival of the Flintshire Harries Arthurian collection in 2015, and we are proud to be at the forefront of a number of local, national and international events focused on the Arthurian legends – as Professor Field’s recent lecture on the location of Camelot has shown.

The Arthurian legends have become so embedded in modern life, culture and politics that associations with the Sword in the Stone through the marketing of Guinness or indeed  Camelot as President J. F. Kennedy’s legacy in US politics can sit alongside our use of the phrases ‘round table’ and ‘Holy Grail’ in our everyday language. Nineteenth-century revivals and reinterpretations of the legends are the source of much modern fantasy, though the medieval sources remain a focus of much research and fascination among scholarly audiences and the general public alike. With a new Hollywood movie on the ‘Legend of the Sword’, shot in scenic North Wales, in Snowdonia, to be released later this year, we are well placed to showcase the origins of the stories in medieval Wales.’

The launch event will take place at 4pm in in the Eric Sunderland Lecture Theatre (MALT), Bangor University. 

Following introductory remarks by Dr Aled Llion Jones (School of Welsh), on the subject of 'Arthur in Wales – Arthur in Bangor', Emeritus Professor P.J.C. Field (School of English literature) will deliver a brief address  - 'Malory's Round Table'.

 The main lecture, 'Portable Arthur: Why medieval legends are still relevant to us' will be given by Professor Raluca Radulescu. The founding director of the Centre for Arthurian Studies, Professor Radulescu (School of English Literature) is also President of the British Branch of the International Arthurian Society and Editor of the Journal of the International Arthurian Society

After the talks, there will be refreshments in the Shankland Reading Room, Main Arts Library,  as well as an opportunity to view an exhibition of rare Arthurian books in the Council Corridor and the new online international exhibition of Arthurian materials.

If you would like to attend the launch please register here.

You can find out more about the Centre for Arthurian Studies here.

Publication date: 11 January 2017