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CFP: Magic and the Supernatural in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods

April 10, 2015

Cardiff University Postgraduate Conference, July 21st 2015

An understanding of magic and the supernatural is crucial to the study of the medieval and early modern periods. Magic was a part of everyday life, ingrained into the cultural world view and popular imagination. It was also elusive, encompassing a plurality of meanings and forms that permeated every level of society and resulted in a wide range of practices, from those based on folkloric beliefs to quasi-religious rituals. As a means of understanding and attempting to control the social, spiritual, and natural world, it could be both a comfort and a threat to established norms.

We welcome papers exploring the significance of magic and the supernatural to medieval and early modern thought.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • Magic and religion
  • Magic and science
  • Attitudes towards magic and the supernatural
  • Science fiction and fantasy
  • Alchemy
  • Ritual magic
  • The psychology of magic
  • Magic and technology
  • Magicians and cunning folk
  • Astrology
  • Angels and demons
  • Ghosts and apparitions
  • Witchcraft
  • Medicine and anatomy
  • Shape-shifting
  • Supernatural creatures
  • Otherworlds
  • Prophecy and dreams
  • Necromancy and conjuring

We welcome abstracts from postgraduate students and early career researchers on all aspects of this topic in medieval and early modern history, literature, art, archaeology, architecture, and music.

Please send abstracts of 200-300 words to supernatural@cardiff.ac.uk for papers no longer than 20 minutes by Monday 25th May, 2015.

Find out more here: https://magicandthesupernaturalcardiff.wordpress.com/

In addition to panels, the conference will feature keynote addresses from Professor Ronald Hutton from the University of Bristol and Dr. Darren Oldridge from the University of Worcester.

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