GHC Sites > Michelle Abbott > GHHU 2901 King Arthur

GHHU 2901 King Arthur

GHHU 2901: Special Topics in Humanities

The Legends of King Arthur: Medieval to Modern



Course Description

Exploration of the legends of King Arthur with an examination of its relevance to culture and creative expression via literature, visual art, and film. This course is an Area B elective. 


This web-based class will be delivered via D2L. The class will “meet” 2 times during the semester using Collaborate, a video-chat program free to GHC students. Depending on the size of the class, 2 or 3 timeslots will available for each required meeting and students can choose which time they prefer. It doesn’t have to be the same time from meeting to meeting. A Doodle survey will be completed as part of the orientation, seeking day and time preferences from registered students.

Course Materials

There will be no required textbook for this course. Literature and visual art will be assigned from The Camelot Project @ the University of Rochester . Additional course content will come from assigned videos available via Films on Demand (database of videos available through the GHC library) and other free, web-based sources. Students will be required to locate and watch one feature-length film based on the Arthurian Legend. Many films are available through public libraries and/or for a minimal cost at various online venues.

Course Overview

Unit 1: Medieval Beginnings (Literature and Visual Art)

Unit 2: From Malory to Tennyson and Waterhouse (Literature and Visual Art)

Unit 3: A Medieval King in a Modern World

-The Quest for the Historical “Real” King Arthur

-King Arthur Goes to Hollywood

-Where else is he hiding? (Children’s Literature, Comics, Theme Parks, etc.)

Medieval Princessknight in front of castle

Possible Course Assignments

           Character Study: Each student will trace the evolution of one Arthurian character from its medieval origins to modern incarnations. Students will share this information with the class through the creation of a short video.

            Group Project: In small groups of 3-4, students will explore an assigned Arthurian topic, synthesizing course materials and additional research. They will have the option to present this information as a short collaboratively-written research paper or as a PowerPoint/Prezi presentation. (Student grades will be invidually determined despite working as a group.)

            Modern Incarnation Project: Students will find a modern expression of Arthurian Legend and share it with the class via an informal, “live” presentation using Collaborate. Students will also write a brief essay (1 page) explaining how their modern incarnation ties to other concepts discussed in the class.


*In addition to the major assignments, students will be expected to complete reading assignments, watch videos, and participate in online discussions, but no exams will be given in this course. Our focus will be on project-based learning. *