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ARTHUR’S HEIRS: SITUATING MEDIEVAL WELSH, SPANISH, AND SCANDINAVIAN TEXTS IN THEIR LITERARY AND HISTORICAL CONTEXTS

Abstract
This dissertation addresses a significant gap in Arthurian scholarship by adapting postcolonial and translation theory to analyze Medieval Arthurian literature from the peripheral cultures that interacted throughout the Irish Sea and the Atlantic littoral. This project uses a similar approach as that traditionally employed in Mediterranean studies to investigate Arthurian texts and related materials from the Celtic (Irish and Welsh), Scandinavian (Norwegian and Icelandic), and Iberian (Castilian and Catalan) cultural peripheries to point out both the local and transcultural roles of these texts. By highlighting that Arthurian literature was not only transmitted from Britain through France to the rest of Europe, but was instead produced and read through a Pan-European network, it is demonstrated that Medieval Arthurian literature is a product of the multicultural interactions that shaped medieval Europe. Moreover, a focus on the relationship between kings and their subjects, both male and female, becomes a medium to interrogate the function Arthurian stories played in differing constructions of sovereignty. In order to understand that relationship, it is necessary to analyze these Arthurian texts through their different cultural and historical contexts and how they were shaped by and in turn shaped their environments.
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openaccess
dissertation
Date
2014
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