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IMAGINING MAGIC AND WITCHCRAFT IN MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN LITERATURE
full name / name of organization:
Medieval and Early Modern English Studies Association of Korea (MEMESAK)
The Medieval and Early Modern English Studies Association of Korea and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Seoul National University will co-host an international conference under the title of “Imagining Magic and Witchcraft in Medieval and Early Modern Literature.” In medieval and early modern society, magic and witchcraft provided sources of popular and literary imagination and objects of both sheer fascination and collective anxiety, as well as pretexts for political and religious persecution. They also marked the frontier of scientific inquiry and human understanding. Imagining magic and witchcraft was an attempt to map the unmappable—the supernatural, the unknown, and the prohibited. It was also inseparable from imagining (and policing) alterity because stigmatizing the supernatural was in a nutshell concomitant with supernaturalizing the stigmatized. The discourse of magic and witchcraft thus inevitably overlapped and colluded with ideological discourses on gender, sexuality, race, and religion. The conference will explore how medieval and early modern texts—either European or non-European—imagine/represent magic and witchcraft and how such imagining/representation interacts with the ideologies and mentalities of the periods. It will be a small yet lively forum accommodating a maximum of fifteen speakers. Travel grants (covering three-day hotel expenses) will be available on a limited basis. To apply for participation, email your title, abstract, and CV to the conference organizer by July 15, 2011. Graduate students are welcome to participate.