​Dracula and Burning Castles

On 26th July 2014 the 24th Congress of the International Arthurian Society ended after a week of intensive work. Some 200 scholars from all over the world had gathered in Bucharest, following the invitation of the Romanian Branch of the Society. They discussed new research concepts, met colleagues, and presented the projects that they were presently working on.

The participants could choose from a large range of presentations and round table discussions. Due to the huge number of fascinating topics, it was nearly impossible to take notice of all interesting matters. The papers focused on the following main topics:

1. Onomastic and anonymity

2. Anthologies, compilations and manuscripts

3. Other Arthurian Worlds and Cultural Translation

4. Generic Interferences

5. Readers and Readings

Plenary lectures were given by Elizabeth Archibald, Anne Berthelot, Keith Busby, Danielle Buschinger, Fabrizio Cigni, Danièle James-Raoul, Fritz Peter Knapp, Alison Stones, Michelle Szkilnik, and Mihaela Voicu.

Thanks to efficient organization, the Arthurians were well cared for by numerous helpers. Whenever smaller or larger problems occurred, there was always someone around to offer immediate help. In addition, the culinary side was well catered for during this week. At the concluding banquet the attendees were presented with a whole roast pig, and a cake in the shape of a castle, accompanied by huge flare-like sparklers. During a day of excursions the scholars had the chance to explore the country and were fascinated by it, whether they visited Dracula’s Castle Bran in the Carpads, or whether they toured through Walachia and visited Curtea de Arges, the former capital of the county. – The organizers, and especially Catalina Girbea, deserve warmest thanks for their passionate commitment to the conference.

The general assembly, directed by Keith Busby, at that time still President of the International Society, elected a familiar figure as his follower for the next triennium: Cora Dietl, since seven years president of the German/Austrian Branch. She will care for the society’s needs until the next congress, which will take place in Würzburg (Germany) in 2017. The Arthurians honored Keith Busby’s huge merits for the Society by declaring him Honorary President.

Nathanael Busch