|Professor focuses on King Arthur
RELEASED: July 1, 2004
DANVILLE, KYThe mysterious and legendary King Arthur will be fighting evil on the big screen this summer. And Centre Associate Professor of English Mark Rasmussen will be sure to keep tabs on Arthur's every move.
King Arthur hits theaters on July 7. The film is produced by Kentucky resident and famed director/producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
It's often debated whether King Arthur and those who were part of his storythe Knights of the Roundtable, the magician Merlin and Lancelotwere real or mythical. King Arthur is considered a hero in Britain and beyond for stories of his heroism in battles and other exploits.
"Of course, says Rasmussen, "there have been many film treatments of Arthurian legend, from the silent era onwards. But almost without exception Hollywood versions of the legend set it in the late Middle Ages, with knights and armor and chivalry and castles. That's the setting that we associate with the story, largely because of Sir Thomas Malory's version of it, Le Morte D'Arthur, which was written in the late 15th century. But the historical origin for Arthurif there was such a manwould most likely have lived much earlier, perhaps during the late 5th century.
"This film is the first big-budget Hollywood production to place the story in that earlier setting, and it'll be interesting to see how that approach fares on the big screen."
Rasmussen, an expert in Arthurian legend, teaches "The Romance of Arthur (ENG 315)" at Centre. He taught the course, which looks at Arthurian literature, for the first time this spring. With the help of Keeta Martin, instructor of education and coordinator of instructional technology at Centre, Rasmussen designed a Web site for the course (go to http://web.centre.edu/rasmuss/arthur/).
In addition, Rasmussen will present a paper on the movie, "Touchstone Pictures and the Historical Arthur," next month at a conference in England. The conference on "Recreating Arthur" will be held in Winchester, England.
Rasmussen, who holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Harvard and an M.A. and Ph.D. from John Hopkins University, teaches courses in medieval and Renaissance literature.
For more about English and Creative Writing courses at Centre, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/academic/majors/english.html.
- end -
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top-50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Public Information Coordinator: Telephone 859-238-5714