I made the Devil do it: Conjuring Spirits in Late Medieval England
Cursus informatieRooster
Studiepunten (ECTS)5
Aangeboden doorRadboud Universiteit; Faculteit der Letteren; Engelse taal en cultuur;
dr. L.S. Chardonnens
Overige cursussen docent
dr. L.S. Chardonnens
Overige cursussen docent
Contactpersoon van de cursus
dr. L.S. Chardonnens
Overige cursussen docent
dr. L.S. Chardonnens
Overige cursussen docent
PER 3-PER 4  (30-01-2023 t/m 03-09-2023)
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
- Participants have expanded their knowledge of historical literary studies by an in-depth examination of writings belonging to a field other than canonical literatures.
- They consolidate or expand their knowledge of philological methods by studying a primary text in its original, unedited form.
- They are able to analyse modern critical and historical primary sources from late medieval and early modern Europe.
- They understand and can apply the principles of manuscript studies and textual editing to late medieval and early modern manuscript texts by producing reliable editions intended for an audience of peers and experts in the field.
- They are able to independently analyse a medieval or early modern text, to formulate a well-informed thesis about the text, and to communicate their ideas effectively to their peers and the academic community.
- They know how magic functions as a consistent, logical knowledge system in pre-Modernity.
Knowledge and manipulation of reality by supernatural means, magic is now largely relegated to the realm of quackery, popular culture or mental illness through the culturally dominant narratives of how modern disenchantment replaced medieval superstition. Religious and cultural developments, such as the Protestant Reformation, humanism, positivism and scientism, have been instrumental in undermining the rationale of occult attempts to come to grips with daily reality by our ancestors, who were faced with worries about life and death, health and illness, profit and loss, happiness and sadness, security and danger, fortune and misfortune. But if we, as modern human beings who seem to have given up magic, ask ourselves to what extent we are in control of our own lives, we have to admit that there is still no prospect beyond the absolute divide that separates this momentary present from the future. We put an almost religious faith in science, education, technology and medicine, even though the essential questions that occupy our thoughts are the same that worried our ancestors, so why not investigate their coherent and sophisticated systems of communications with the supernatural to see how they coped with life, the universe and everything? This course introduces the participants to practices of ritual magic from medieval and early modern times with the help of sources that were transmitted, often illicitly, in communities of practitioners that had not yet relegated magic to the realm of fiction. These communities contributed to the medieval and early modern book business in ways that other producers of books at the time did not, because sourcebooks of magic are not just objects containing information, but also artefacts of supernatural power through consecration rituals.

In keeping with the necromantic focus of the course, the sources we will work with are hitherto unpublished texts of ritual magic from a necromantic conjuring manual copied by a practising magician in the sixteenth century. The texts in this manuscript will be transformed into a modern edition that makes them available to present-day audiences, and introduces them in such a way that modern readers understand what they are about. Relevant aspects of manuscript studies, source studies and editing techniques will be discussed and applied in order to come to an understanding of how medieval and early modern texts functioned within their material contexts. We will also study recent work on late meideval and early modern ritual magic to come to a better understanding of the historical, ideological and cutural dimensions of these texts. The course, then, combines the theoretical study of ritual magic with the practice of textual editing from older sources.
There are no prerequisites, but expertise in at least one of the following fields of study is recommended: ritual magic, necromancy, manuscript studies, book history, theology, religious studies, philosophy, magic studies, medieval or early modern English, (medieval) Latin.
The final grade is composed of four assignments (0 % of final grade, pass/fail), and a final written assignment (100 % of final grade, grade between 1 and 10, with a grade in the range 5.5-10 being a pass). The four assignments are: (1) a transcription at the end of the first part of the course, (2) a list of letter forms at the end of the first part of the course, (3) a design for a conjuration in the second part of the course, (4) a design for a magic circle in the second part of the course. The final written assignment is an edition of a part of the text.
Verplicht materiaal
Titel:Reading materials will be distributed during the course.



GelegenhedenBlok PER 4, Blok PER 4

Minimum cijfer

GelegenhedenBlok PER 4, Blok PER 4

Minimum cijfer