Branch Conference 2013


British Branch Annual Conference 2013: The Once and Future Text

The British Branch of the IAS held its Annual Conference in Bangor from 9-11 September 2013. Dr Raluca Radulescu from Bangor University’s School of English hosted the conference at Reichel Hall, and welcomed over 40 attendees and speakers, from well-established scholars to first-time postgraduates.

Delegates were treated to an eclectic set of papers that reflected the diversity of interests within the membership: topics spanned the historical, literary and linguistic, and there were presentations on Chrétien de Troyes, Victorian women writers, Arthurian literature from 1930s Spain, Tennyson, Charles Williams, children’s Arthurian Literature, new suggested sources for Malory’s Tale of Sir Gareth, and the relationship between medieval royalty and Arthurian literature. Participants also had an opportunity to view rare books on Arthurian topics from Bangor University’s Archives, and go on a tour of the University main building, which dates from 1884.

British members were also fortunate to witness the book launch of Professor P. J. C. Field’s new edition of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur – the end of a twenty-three collaborative endeavour between the scholarly editorial talents of Field and his publishers at Boydell and Brewer. Richard Barber, Peter Field’s Editor at Boydell, and himself an eminent medieval historian, arrived in time to take part in a panel discussion about the production processes of the Edition before handing over the first copy of Volume I to Professor Field at the book launch. Professor Elizabeth Archibald, President of the British Branch, called Professor Field ‘a mighty editor of prowess’ (from Malory’s description of Lancelot as a ‘mighty knight of prowess’) and Richard Barber joked that the name of “Sir Peter Deschamps” would now be added to the roll call of Malory’s knights, and stressed how fitting it was that the Branch should be meeting in Bangor, where Professor Field had spent his academic career. Delegates were able to see the first volume in a world exclusive opportunity to view and discuss an Edition that will transform the way Malory is studied and researched in the future.

Professor P. J. C. Field and Richard Barber with the new edition
Professor P. J. C. Field and Richard Barber with the new edition