Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Medieval Magic: Future Directions

26 June 2019, 1:30 pm–5:30 pm

medieval magic

The IAS is delighted to share the details of this workshop.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Sophie Page


IAS Common Ground
Ground floor, South Wing, UCL
United Kingdom

The recently published Routledge History of Medieval Magic (January 2019) brought together the work of scholars from across Europe and North America to provide extensive insights into recent developments in the study of medieval magic between c.1100 and c.1500. The book covers a wide range of topics, including the magical texts which circulated in medieval Europe, the attitudes of intellectuals and churchmen to magic, the ways in which magic intersected with other aspects of medieval culture, and the early witch trials of the fifteenth century. In doing so, it offers the reader a detailed look at the impact that magic had within medieval society, such as its relationship to gender roles, natural philosophy, and courtly culture. This is furthered by the book’s interdisciplinary approach, containing chapters dedicated to archaeology, literature, music, and visual culture, as well as texts and manuscripts. This workshop brings together nine contributors to The Routledge History of Medieval Magic to discuss how research on this subject could develop in the future, highlighting under-explored subjects, unpublished sources, and new approaches to the topic. We begin with a keynote paper by Marilyn Corrie, and end with three responses to the book from Jennifer Farrell, John Sabapathy and Bill Maclehose followed by a wine reception.

Running order:

  • 13:30-14:00 Workshop registration and coffee
  • 14:00-14:05 Welcome by Sophie Page and Catherine Rider

1) Keynote paper Chair: Catherine Rider (Exeter)

  • 14:05-14:30 Marilyn Corrie (UCL) ‘Magic and Illusions in Chrétien de Troyes' Cligès’.
  • 14:30-14:45. Response: Lea Olsan (University of Louisiana, Emerita) and questions

2) Future directions panel: 5 minute presentations by 10 speakers followed by discussion chaired by Sophie Page. 14:45-16:00

  • David d’Avray (UCL) ‘Concepts’
  • Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute) ‘Arabic Magic’
  • Antonella Sannino (Naples) ‘Hermetic Magic’
  • Peter Jones (Cambridge) ‘Medicine and Magic’
  • Corinne Saunders (Durham) ‘Literature and Magic’
  • Catherine Rider (Exeter) ‘Gender and Magic’
  • Roberta Gilchrist (Reading) ‘Archaeology and Magic’
  • Sophie Page (UCL) ‘Diagrams and Magic’
  • Michael Bailey (Iowa) ‘Scepticism and Magic’

Coffee Break: 16:00-16.30

3) Responses to the Routledge History of Medieval Magic: 16:30-17.30

  • Jennifer Farrell (Exeter), John Sabapathy (UCL), Bill Maclehose (UCL)

Wine Reception: 17:30