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TUDOR LECTURES AND LIBRARY PROGRAMS!

Bill Robison is available for lectures and library programs about the Tudors and other history topics. If you don't see what you're looking for here, just ask--he may be looking for an excuse to prepare the very lecture you have in mind. To schedule a lecture, just use the handy email form on the TudorsOnFilm Contact page. For fees see below.

 


LIBRARY PROGRAMS

To bring a program to your library contact William B. Robison at wrobison@selu.edu. 

  

INDIVIDUAL LECTURES

Using scholarship, video, images, and humor to examine serious historical topics in an entertaining manner. Tailored to the audience and a flexible time range (30-90 minutes). And yes, if you ask, he will come in costume and show you one of his films.

 

Alchemists, Astrolgers, Barbers, and Magicians: Apparent Common Sense and the First Scientific Revolution. This lecture examines the cluster of beliefs and practices that constituted late medieval 'science' on the eve of the First Scientific Revolution.

 

American Holidays, Part 1: Christmas, Easter, and Halloween: Christians, Pagans, and Red Tag Specials. This lecture examines the history and American observance of three major religious holidays. Can be combined with American Holidays, Part 2.

 

American Holidays, Part 2: Secularized Religious Holidays: Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, St. Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day. More history and American observance. Can be combined with American Holidays, Part 1.

 

TUDORS! Anne Boleyn: A Hundred Years in Film and Television. This lecture utilizes film clips to examine the depiction of Anne Boleyn in film and television and, in turn, to show how this reflects the ebb and flow of modern feminism. See Lion's Roar article.

 

TUDORS! Battling, Bedding, Burning and Beheading: True Tales of Terror from Tudor Times premiered as the More-or-Less Annual Halloween Lecture at 1:00 pm, Wednesday, October 31, 2012 in Pottle Auditorium. Who knows what further surprises lie in store?

 

TUDORS! Bad History Goes to the Movies. The first step down the slippery slope that led to The Tudors on Film and Television, this lecture examines a variety of 'historical' films from Gladiator to Gone With the Wind, with plenty of Tudor movies included.

 

Bashing Maggie: The British Pop Music War Against Margaret Thatcher. This lecture uses music and video to illustrate the vilification of the Thatcher government by British musicians, not only punk rockers but many mainstream performers.

 

TUDORS! Blazing Tudorism: Comic Appropriation of the Tudors in Film and Television. Demonstrates how comic appropriation of the Tudors in films, burlesques, cartoons, comedy sketches, and spoofs draws upon and reinforces stereotypical images of the Tudors. 

 

The British Are Not Coming: Prince Albert, Palmerston, and Civil War Diplomacy. Includes short film, Battlefield Mayhem: The Civil War in Six Minutes. Argues there was no chance of Britain intervening in the Civil War with Palmerston as Prime Minister.

 

TUDORS! Doubtul Thomases: The Ministers of Henry VIII on Film. Examines the portrayal on film of Thomas Boleyn, Thomas Cranmer, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Howard, Thomas More, Thomas Wolsey, and various 'honorary Thomases.' 

 

TUDORS! Elizabeth I: Fact, Fiction, Film. Examines the portrayal on film and television of Elizabeth I. See Lion's Roar article

 

 

The English Bill of Rights and the American Constitution. This lecture traces the influence of the English Bill of Rights of 1689 on the various Bills of Rights adopted by the thirteen American colonies and eventually on the American Bill of Rights. See Lion's Roar article.

 

The Evil Draught: Poisons, Potions, and Preprations in History. Inclues a short film, Poisons. Examines the use of poison as a weapon of potentially mass destruction (WPMD) and of potions for everything from romance to wart removal. See Lion's Roar article.

 

TUDORS! From Page to Stage to Critical Rage: The Evolution of the ‘Popular’ Henry VIII. Examines how Holbein, Shakespeare, and Charles Laughton's performance in The Private Life of Henry VIII shaped popular images of the king. Premiered at the 2012 Southern Conference on British Studies, November 2.

 

Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot, and the Great Pumpkin. Includes a short film, Who Killed the Great Pumpkin? Examines the 1605 plot to blow up king and parliament, how it was thwarted, and its continuing significance. See Lion's Roar Lion's Roar article 1 and article 2 and Hammond Daily Star article.

'Hellhound on My Trail’: The Life, Legend, and Legacy of Bluesman Robert Johnson. Uses Johnson's own recordings plus those of his predecessors and his many admirers to trace the influence of early blues on modern blues and rock music.

 

It's Alive! The History of Frankenstein from Mary Shelley to Boris Karloff to Mel Brooks and Beyond. Includes a short film of Dr Robison reanimating a body. The evolution and many faces of Dr Frankenstein's famous monster.

 

Mary Magdalene, the Da Vinci Code, and History. This lecture separates fact from fiction in Dan Brown's novel,The Da Vinci Code, and the movie based on it. 

 

 

TUDORS! Misers, Lechers, Zealots, and Virgins: The Tudor Kings and Queens on Film. Includes a short film, The Heartbreak of Tudoriasis. Deals with many of the issues raised in The Tudors on Film and Television and features lots of film clips.

 

Monster Movies and History. Includes a short, irremediably silly film, Monster Matinée. Examines the cultural signficance of King Kong, The War of the Worlds, Godzilla, and similar films, and places them in historical context.

 

Nostradamus: Poet, Prophet, Pharmacist, 'Phraud'. Includes a short film, Preposterodamus: The Forgotten Seer. Examines and debunks the various claims about Michel de Notredame's ability to predict the future and places them in historical context.

 

Pagans, Piety, and Pumpkins: The Horrifying, Holy, and Horticultural Histories of Halloween. This lecture examines the history and mythology of halloween from its alleged ancient roots to its most recent manifestations. 

 

Power Behind the Throne: English Medieval Queens. This lecture discusses the political role of English queens from the Anglo-Saxon period to the end of the Wars of the Roses.

 

 

TUDORS! Queens, Wives, Heretics, and Traitors: The Royal Women of Tudor England. This lectures discusses regnant Tudor queens, royal spouses, would-be queens, and others.

 

 

The Real Nightmare Before Christmas: The Puritan War Against Church Holidays. Includes a short film, There's A War On Christmas. Examines the history of Christmas, including Puritan attacks on the holiday in early modern England and colonial America.

 

Scandal and the British Monarchy from William the Conqueror to Wiliiam, Prince of Wales. Discusses 1000 years of royal scandals that make the antics of the current royal family look tame by comparison.

 

TUDORS! Tudor Christmas: Yule, Misrule, Wassail and Wonder. Religious observances, seasonal food and drink, and such courtly and popular customs and entertainments as the Twelve Days of Christmas, the Yule Log, Lords of Misrule, Boy Bishops, New Year’s gifts, Twelfth Night, and Plough Monday.  

TUDORS! The Tudors on Film and Television: Early Modern Monarchs, Modern and Post-Modern Movies. Asks if there has been a change in the presentation and reception of Tudor films and television from the 'modern' ear to the  'post-modern' era. Premiered at University of Louisiana-Monroe November 15, 2012. See artilcle on ULM website

TUDORS! Turning Catherine’s Weal: Irene Papas and Maria Doyle Kennedy as Catherine of Aragon. Examines the portrayal of Catherine of Aragaon in Anne of the Thousand Days and Showtime's The Tudors. Premiered at the 2012 Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, October 27.

 

Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, and Wizards: Popular Superstition in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Examines popular beliefs about and official investigatons of vampires, werewolves, witchs, and wizards in late medieval and early modern Europe.

 

TUDORS! War, Sex, and Dirty Politics: Why We Love Watching the Tudors on Film and Television. The title says it all!

 

 

The War of 1812, the Battle of New Orleans, and Great Power Politics: A Long Term International Perspective. This lecture describes events leading up to the famous battle and analyzes its significance for international politics.

 

TUDORS! Was England’s Greatest ‘Renaissance Man’ a Women?  Introducing the Real Elizabeth I. This lectures answers with a resounding yes and explains why.

 

 

TUDORS! Why Isn’t Anne of Cleves Ugly? Suspension of Disbelief in 'The Private Life of Henry VIII' and Its Successors. Uses film clips to examine the portrayal of Anne of Cleves in film and television and analyze the filmic tropes that have become part of her image.

 

TUDORS! Will Out of This World! William Shakespeare on Film and Television! Not the filmed version of Shakespeare's plays but the way in which films, most recently Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Anonymous (2011) have treated the bard himself!

 

TUDORS! The Wrath of the King: Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, and the Surrey Justices in Star Chamber. Includes a short film, Reality Television: All Halloween! All Horror! All History! Describes an important but relatively little known 1519 Star Chamber case.

 

FEES FOR INDIVIDUAL LECTURES

No, Bill Robison is not a real sorcerer, he has never played one on television, and he did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, but the lectures are bewitchingly magical. See below for the ridiculously low price of conjuring him up.

 

For civic organizations that support Southeastern Louisiana University, Bill Robison will work for food. Otherwise, the lectures are not free, but they are worth every penny. Get him now while it's still cheap.

 

LIBRARY PROGRAMS

LEH sets its own rates, typically around $1000 per program. Robison is available for "America's Music," "Henry VIII and His Six Wives," and other upcoming six-week library programs in Louisiana for $1000 within 100 miles of Baton Rouge and $1200 for over 100 miles from Baton Rouge.

INDIVIDUAL LECTURES

Instate (Louisiana): $150 within 100 miles of Baton Rouge and $200 for over 100 miles from Baton Rouge plus lodging for locations requiring an overnight stay.

Adjacent states (Arkansas, Mississippi, East Texas): $250 plus plus lodging for one night.

 

Other states (except Alaska and Hawaii): $350 plus airfare plus lodging for two nights.

 

 

Anywhere else (except Antarctica): $500 plus airfare plus lodging for two nights.

 

 

Antarctica: $1,000 plus airfare plus lodging for two nights plus rental of thermal tuxedo to impress penguins.

 

 

Lodging requirements: Clean, comfortable room with the light left on. No chocolate on pillow required, though location near a barbecue place would be sublime.

 

 

Additional fees for unsuccessful reanimation with Frankenstein lecture: $100.

 

 

 

Additional fees for successful reanimation with Frankenstein lecture: $1,000 plus second hotel room and/or bail, court costs, fines, and legal fees.