Dr. Meg Roland will give a talk on The Search for the Holy Grail at OMSI’s Reel Science showing of the classic film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on Aug. 23, 2017.
This isn’t Meg Roland’s first time to be invited to speak at OMSI’s Empirical Theater. Back in 2015, she talked about the history behind the cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail, telling The Oregonian that “Pop cultural moments like this are a great opportunity to make medieval studies more accessible.”
Dr. Roland is an expert on medieval literature, and in particular, Arthurian literature. Many variations of the famous King Arthur stories appeared over time, she says.
“The first mention of a Grail occurs in the 12th century story of Perceval by Chretien de Troyes, appearing as a mysterious platter,” noted Dr. Roland.
Each variation responds to the times, so examining each iteration of the Holy Grail story tells us something about the times in which the story was presented, she said.
In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Dr. Henry Jones Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, the mythical vessel of eternal life. Archaeologist Indiana Jones rescues his father, and together they resume the Grail quest to prevent the Nazis from harnessing its powers.
“In this film, the Grail continues to represent seeking and healing,” Dr. Roland said.
Reel Science events at OMSI’s Empirical Theater are for science and film lovers alike. The monthly series brings in experts to amplify the movie-watching experience. All ages are welcome, and the Empirical Cafe serves sandwiches, snacks and beverages. OMSI is located at 1945 S.E. Water Ave., Portland, OR.
Dr. Roland’s talk begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the film at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $7 general admission; $6 OMSI members. » Learn more and buy tickets
Meg Roland is associate professor and chair of the Department of Art & Literature at Marylhurst University. In addition to Arthurian literature, her areas of expertise include manuscripts and early print culture, early modern maps, material written culture and textual theory. She leads an annual study abroad trip to London and Rome.