Volume 95, Issue 2

Thursday, May 31, 2001


France knights Davenport

Summer Games preparations continue

Eating disorder clinic opens at Western

No smokes for you - restaurants smoke-free by 2002

USC and union reach agreement

Robin Hood fanatics invade Western

Study: obesity affects mental health

News Briefs

Robin Hood fanatics invade Western

By Krysty Campbell
Gazette Staff

Robin Hood is a timeless hero whose legend has been told and re-told throughout the centuries. He remains a symbol of public unrest and private justice, which may explain his continued popularity to today's scholars and filmmakers.

The many aspects of Robin Hood, from the original bandits who inspired the character, to the latest Hollywood film, will be explored at the Third Biennial Robin Hood Conference set to take place at Western between May 31 and June 2, said organizer and Western English professor, Richard Green.

Conron Hall will host the majority of essay presentations and discussions, which will feature scholars and professors from across the globe, Green explained.

Francis Gingras, a professor in Western's French department, will be reading his paper on the French tale of Robin and Maid Marion. He said the French legend is very different because Robin is a shepherd and the tale of his love affair with Marion is more of a comedy.

"A debate has existed among historians and scholars for as long as the legend itself, arguing Robin Hood's actual existence," Gingras said. "Some historians are still looking for Robin Hood today."

Allen Wright, a Robin Hood novelty collector, will be hosting a workshop at the conference on the alternate versions of the Robin Hood legend, as well as displaying his collection of Robin Hood memorabilia.

Wright attributes Robin Hood's continued popularity to the versatility of the character. "He changes with the times, defending the current popular cause and adapting to the current socially acceptable personality traits," he explained.

Robin Hood may begin to metamorphasize again in the 21st century, he noted. An essay written by medieval scholar Stephen Knight, which was presented at the first conference, presented varying discrepencies concerning Robin Hood's sexuality, Wright said.

Wright said Robin Hood has become such a cultural enigma due to the "freedom of action" he demonstrates and Wright suggests this is the cause of the character's international appeal. Due to his "freedom" based personality, a gay Robin Hood would fit the qualities which society loves about him, he said.

Four Western professors, in addition to Gingras, will also be reading papers, including David Bentley, Tom Sea and Laurence De Looze, Green explained.

"[Robin Hood] is an enduring popular cultural figure. I think people sympathize with the underdog. He also symbolizes romantic freedom," Green said.

Non-academics are invited to sit in for free, however, for a special conference pass which entitles snacks and refreshments for the weekend, among other benefits, the fee is $15 for students.

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