He is the probably the most famous legendary character in English folklore but also without doubt the most elusive… and now a unique public event at The University of Nottingham will explore the fascinating conundrum — what exactly does ‘Robin Hood’ mean?
Nottinghamshire’s outlaw has fascinated people the world over thanks to the legends handed down through the generations and made popular through books and modern day film and television. But concrete evidence of his existence is limited to a few chronicle references and ballads.
The University’s Institute for Medieval Research has invited a team of academic experts to present their thoughts on the many historical faces of Robin Hood at a public seminar and discussion on Wednesday 30 October 2013. The event runs from 2.30pm until 5pm in B63 Law and Social Sciences Building on University Park.
Robber or revolutionary?
Dr Nicola Royan from the School of English said: “Robin Hood’s political significance at the moment is as a description of a financial tax, intended to redistribute wealth through the state. He has in the past symbolised Saxon defiance of Norman rule, the freedom of the green wood and subversive disobedience. He has also been a robber, a rebel, a seeker after justice and has come to be quintessentially English, even if the precise location of that Englishness is disputed.”
At the event, three academic experts will question how exactly did the legend of Robin Hood grow, and to what uses has it been put.
- Professor Tony Pollard, of the University of Teesside, is a leading expert on the medieval Robin Hood: his book, Imagining Robin Hood (2004) is an essential text for the subject.
- Dr Juliette Wood, University of Cardiff, brings her expertise on folklore and popular culture to illuminate Robin Hood's afterlife in subsequent centuries.
- Dr Lesley Coote has published a seminal book on prophecy, and its uses in political culture; she has also considered the contemporary popular renditions of the outlaw, particularly in film.
Dr Royan added: “Together our guests bring knowledge and understanding of the uses and the legend and its various redactions, and together, they promise some lively discussion. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask the speakers questions and to contribute to the discussion. The question of Robin Hood's existence may never be settled, but this session will unpick some of the symbolism attached to his legend.”
Members of the public, staff and students are invited to register to attend the event by following this link http://what-is-robin-hood.eventbrite.co.uk