Robin Hood Spotlight

Robin Hood:
Past and Present, Local and Global
The Second International Conference of Robin Hood Studies
Nottingham, 14th - 18th July, 1999

A retro conference programme posted by Allen W. Wright


When the 1999 Robin Hood conference was announced, I posted the programme on my website. The actual conference didn't quite follow the original plan. But I have decided to leave this document on my website. With my 2019 redesign of this section I decided to add a few photos from the conference.

The papers from this conference have been published in two volumes: 

Robin Hood: Medieval and Post-Medieval Edited by Helen Phillips published by Four Courts Press

Bandit Territories: British Outlaws and Their Traditions, Edited by Helen Phillips published by University of Wales Press. (This is clearly the more important volume as it contains my paper which you'll find in section 11.)

To read about my conference experiences, please visit My Return to Robin Hood Country (1999).

Wednesday, 14th July

10.30 a.m. onwards  Registration at Nightingale Hall

Coffee and sandwiches before departure for Sherwood and Southwell

1 00 p.m. Buses leave Nightingale Hall for visit to Sherwood Forest and Southwell Minster

The programme has been arranged by Michael Eaton and Nic Broomhead, Assistant Tourism Officer for Nottinghamshire County Council. There will be a Sherwood Forest tour, including Edwinstowe Church (where Marion and Robin married) and talks by local historians who have made a special study of the history of Sherwood, including a medieval forest warden, who will take us around Sherwood as it was in Robin's Day, and Dr Robert Laxton, of the University of Nottingham, a dendrenologist, who will talk about what timbers from local medieval buildings can tell us about medieval Sherwood and about the politics and economics of Royal Forests. There will be a guided tour of Southwell Minster, with special attention to the Chapter House carvings (among them the ‘Green Man’).

Reception at the Saracen's Head, a fourteenth-century inn in Southwell, hosted by Nottinghamshire County Council.

Supper will be at the Saracen's Head (cost not included but moderate).

Return to Nightingale Hall

(Bed and Breakfast at Nightingale Hall).

Thursday, 15th July

Breakfast, Nightingale Hall.

9-10.00 a.m.  Session 1

Derek Pearsall (Harvard University): ‘The Ballad of Robin Hood and the Monk’.
John Scattergood (Trinity College, Dublin): ‘Outlaws and Parody’.

10.00 a.m. coffee.

10.30 a.m. Buses leave Nightingale Hall for Nottingham Castle and City Centre
Visit to Nottingham Castle with Graham Black (Nottingham Trent University). Walk through the city, opportunity to see St Mary's Church and other places associated with Robin Hood.
We will have lunch (cost not included) at pubs or cafes, etc., guided by committee members or trusty citizens.

2.30 p.m. Nottingham Trent University

Conference delegates will be welcomed to Nottingham by the Sheriff of Nottingham

Plenary Lecture I

Jeffrey Richards
 Professor of Cultural History, Lancaster University:

 ‘The Television Robin Hood’

Followed by refreshments and the official opening of the exhibition by Kevin Carpenter and David Blamires:

Hurrah for Robin Hood: Robin Hood in Children's Books and Magazines, 1810 – present day

Buses return to Nightingale Hall

7.15 p.m. Dinner at Nightingale Hall

After dinner: Session 2 - A symposium ‘Robin Hood and Folk-Lore’,
chaired by Alan Gaylord (Dartmouth Collage). Speakers include Bella Millet (Southampton University) and Seth Kunin (University of Nottingham).

(Bed and Breakfast at Nightingale Hall)

Friday, 16th July

Breakfast at Nightingale Hall.

9 - 10.30 a.m. Session 3

John Marshall (University of Bristol): ‘"Comyth in Robyn Hode": Money Gathering at Croscombe, Somerset in the Name of the Outlaw’.
Thomas H. Ohlgren (Purdue University): ‘Norfolk, the Pastons and Richard Call: the Manuscript Context of "Robin Hood and the Potter"’.
Anna Macbriar (University of Southern Mississippi): ‘Robin and Robin Hood: Co-signs across National and Linguistic Boundaries’.

Session 4

Kevin Carpenter (Oldenburg University): ‘Robin Hood in Boys' Weeklies, 1868 – 1920’.
Kevin Harty (La Salle University): ‘Homosociality and the Death of the Robin Hood Legend on Screen’.
Bonnie Millar (University of Nottingham): ‘Reading the Male: Feminisation and Hypermasculinisation in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’.

10.30 a.m. coffee

11.00 a.m. -12.30 p.m. Session 5

Richard Firth Green (University of Western Ontario): ‘Violence in the Outlaw Tradition’.
Timothy S. Jones (Augustana College): ‘English Law and the Structure of Medieval English Outlaw Narratives’.
Christine Chism (Rutgers University): ‘Robin Hood: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally in the Fifteenth-Century Ballads’.

Session 6

Linda Troost (Washington and Jefferson College): ‘Thomas Holcroft's The Noble Peasant (1784): An Overlooked Reworking of an Outlaw Tale’.
Clare Blatchford (Southern Connecticut University): ‘Locating the Power of the Greenwood in the Early Ballads and the Gest’.
Helen Phillips (University of Glamorgan): ‘Charlotte Bronte, Robin Hood and the Industrial Revolution’.

1 p.m. lunch, Nightingale Hall.

2-3.30 p.m. Session 7

Roy Pearcy (University of Oklahoma): ‘The Literary Robin Hood: Character and Function in Fits 1,2, and 4 of the Geste’.
David Hepworth (University of Nottingham): ‘A Grave’s Tale’
Dean Hoffman (Belmont Abbey College): ‘"Lythe and Lysten, gentylmen, / And herken to your songe": Guildhall Minstrelsy as Text and Subtext in the Gest of Robyn Hode’.

Session 8

Alan Gaylord (Dartmouth College): ‘The Grimness of the Green -- Cautionary Images from Russell Hoban’.
Roberta Staples (Sacred Heart University): ‘Maid Marian: Oh, What a Change is Here!’
Lorraine Stock (University of Houston): ‘The Women in Robin Hood's Life: Ambivalent Constructions of the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalen, and Maid Marian’.

3.30 p.m. Tea

4-5.00 p.m. Session 9

Julian Wasserman and Marcus Smith (Loyola University): ‘"Sketches by a Green Crayon": Washington Irving, Robin Hood and the Emerging American Frontier’.
Stephen Knight (Cardiff University): ‘The Forest Queen’. [This was the paper that triggered the media storm about a gay Robin Hood. In truth, the gay reference was a one sentence joke and a funny preamble acknowledging the media attention.]

6.00 p.m. Dinner at Nightingale Hall

7.00 p.m. Buses to Broadway Cinema, Nottingham.
Reception and Film.

Saturday, 17th July.

Breakfast at Nightingale Hall

9-10.30 a.m. Session 10

Sally Bentley (Bishop Grosseteste College): ‘Is Robin Hood Children's Literature?’
David Blamires (University of Manchester): ‘Social Change and the Figure of Marian in Twentieth-Century Children's Books’.
Evelyn Perry: ‘The Past as Present: Robin Hood and the Formative Reader’.

Session 11

Allen W. Wright: ‘"Begone, Knave! Robbery is out of Fashion Hereabouts!": Robin Hood in 1950s Comic Books’.
Laura Blunk (Cuyahoga Community College): ‘And For Best Supporting Hero, Little John’.
Sherron Lux: ‘Maids and Matrons: The Women of Richard Carpenter’s Robin of Sherwood Series’.[Unfortunately, Sherron could not attend this conference.]

10.30 a.m. Coffee

Plenary Lecture 2

Thomas Hahn
Professor of English, University of Rochester

Robin Hood of the 1950s

2 – 3.30 p.m. Session 12

Hillary Herndon (University of Rochester): ‘The Outlaw King: An Operetta’.
David Marcombe (University of Nottingham): ‘Robin Hood: Heretic in a Green Suit?’
Lois Potter (University of Delaware), ‘Alfred Noyes's Sherwood’.

3.30 p.m. Tea

4.00 p.m. Session 13

David Smith (Lancaster University): `South-East Asian Bandits'.
Richard Clouet (Institut Catholique d’Etudes Supérieures): ‘Robin Hood: The Legitimate Outlaw of the Middle Ages’.
Adrian Price (University of Glamorgan): ‘Welsh Bandits’.


7.00 p.m. Conference Banquet with entertainments.

Sunday, 18th July

Breakfast at Nightingale Hall

9 – 10.00 a.m. Session 14 – ‘Robin Hood and Place-Names’,

chaired by Helen Phillips (University of Glamorgan).

Gordon Stainforth: ‘Robin Hood and the Peak District’.
Michael Evans (Christchurch University): ‘Robin Hood in Sherwood Stood? – Robin Hood and Regional Identity’.

10.00 a.m. Coffee

10.30 a.m. All-day trip to Robin Hood places in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire, devised and hosted by Stephen Knight.

Conference ends.


[Left in for sake of completeness. Unless you have a time machine, there's no logical reason to send in fees. If you do send payment to someone for this conference, please note you must provide your own transportation to the year 1999.]

The fee for just attending (sessions) is £20.

We would like to know by June 1st if you are coming. [Again that's June 1, 1999 - so please send your payment and RSVP through the space-time vortex.]

The non-residential fee (all meals, trips, activities, etc.) is £121. We'd need a deposit for this: $45 by June 1st and the rest either when you arrive or before.

Full residence is £245.

Trip on the 18th is £15. Extra.

Where to find the conference papers:

BANDIT TERRITORIES: BRITISH OUTLAWS AND THEIR TRADITIONS, edited by Helen Phillips. This book collects a variety of scholarly articles on Robin and other outlaws. Topics include Robin Hood in film and television, gay themes in the Robin Hood legend, 1950s Robin Hood comic books, other outlaws such as Fouke fitz Waryn and Owain Glyndwr, 19th century literature and the Scottish Robin Hood. Contributors include Helen Phillips, Stephen Knight, Thomas Hahn, Jeffrey Richards, Laura Blunk, Marcus Smith and the late Julian Wasserman .. ohhh and me, Allen W. Wright (although they did manage to misspell my name).
Buy Bandit Territories edited by Helen Phillips on
Buy Bandit Territories on
Buy Bandit Territories on

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