Session Title

What Is the Magic of Merlin? The Appeal of the Wizard in the Contemporary World: In Celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages (A Roundtable)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

Organizer Name

Michael A. Torregrossa

Organizer Affiliation

Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

Presider Name

Mikee Delony

Presider Affiliation

Abilene Christian Univ.

Paper Title 1

Merlin as Cultural Signifier

Presenter 1 Name

Perry Neil Harrison

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Baylor Univ.

Paper Title 2

The Hanged Man: Odin as the Original Merlin Wizard

Presenter 2 Name

Chris Fields

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Abilene Christian Univ.

Paper Title 3

The Trickster Tricked: Transgressive Technologies and Forbidden Knowledge in Merlin Representations

Presenter 3 Name

Susan Jeffers

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Paper Title 4

Merlin the Underdog: Rewriting the Past in Arthurian Film and Television Adaptations

Presenter 4 Name

Heidi Breuer

Presenter 4 Affiliation

California State Univ.-San Marcos

Paper Title 5

The Case of Merlin as an Illustration of Postmodernism in the Francophone Graphic Novel

Presenter 5 Name

Clotilde E. Landais

Presenter 5 Affiliation

Purdue Univ.

Start Date

10-5-2014 3:30 PM

Session Location

Bernhard 204

Description

The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages was founded in 2004 in a concerted effort, as our web site explains, “to promote and foster scholarship on and teaching and discussion of representations of the medieval in post-medieval popular culture and mass media.” Much of the success of our mission has occurred through our presence at the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies, and we invite proposals from individuals interested in helping us to fulfill this undertaking as part of the commemoration of our tenth anniversary as a learned society.

For 2014, we are interested in exploring in more detail the transformations of one popular legend with ties to the medieval period as represented in our contemporary post-medieval culture. Our session, “What Is the Magic of Merlin? The Appeal of the Wizard in the Contemporary World: In Celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages (A Roundtable)”, will look at the continued popularity of the figure of Merlin and his legend, especially as evidenced by the recent television series Merlin, as well the appeal of other stories of magic-wielders (such as The Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit, The Dresden Files, Harry Potter, Legend of the Seeker, and The Wizards of Waverly Place) to suggest why the legacy of Merlin continues to endure, especially now, despite the passage of centuries.

Final papers will be included in an essay collection to be edited by the session organizers and expected to go to press in early 2015.

Michael A. Torregrossa

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May 10th, 3:30 PM

What Is the Magic of Merlin? The Appeal of the Wizard in the Contemporary World: In Celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages (A Roundtable)

Bernhard 204

The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages was founded in 2004 in a concerted effort, as our web site explains, “to promote and foster scholarship on and teaching and discussion of representations of the medieval in post-medieval popular culture and mass media.” Much of the success of our mission has occurred through our presence at the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies, and we invite proposals from individuals interested in helping us to fulfill this undertaking as part of the commemoration of our tenth anniversary as a learned society.

For 2014, we are interested in exploring in more detail the transformations of one popular legend with ties to the medieval period as represented in our contemporary post-medieval culture. Our session, “What Is the Magic of Merlin? The Appeal of the Wizard in the Contemporary World: In Celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages (A Roundtable)”, will look at the continued popularity of the figure of Merlin and his legend, especially as evidenced by the recent television series Merlin, as well the appeal of other stories of magic-wielders (such as The Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit, The Dresden Files, Harry Potter, Legend of the Seeker, and The Wizards of Waverly Place) to suggest why the legacy of Merlin continues to endure, especially now, despite the passage of centuries.

Final papers will be included in an essay collection to be edited by the session organizers and expected to go to press in early 2015.

Michael A. Torregrossa