Skip to main content

IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 1210: Bodily Dimensions: Sensual and Supernatural Borders, III

Wednesday 8 July 2020, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Jack Ford, Department of History, University College London
Moderator/Chair:Calum Cockburn, Department of English Language & Literature University College London
Paper 1210-aPlanet Man and the Cursed Imagination: Medical and Magical Diagrams of Humans and the Cosmos
(Language: English)
Sophie L. Page, Department of History, University College London
Index terms: Medicine, Science
Paper 1210-bA Combat of Supernatural Powers: The Sacred, the Diabolical - Demoniac's Body in Their Making
(Language: English)
Sari Katajala-Peltomaa, School of Social Sciences & Humanities, University of Tampere
Index terms: Religious Life, Theology
Paper 1210-cSleight of Hand and Dangerous Stunts: Approaches to the History of Illusionist Magic
(Language: English)
Vanessa da Silva Baptista, Department of History University College London
Index terms: Performance Arts - General, Technology

The medieval body was not only characterised by its borders but by its permeability to magical and supernatural forces. Through reference to diagrams, canonisation inquests, and recipe collections, the papers here problematise the nature of the natural, supernatural, and magical boundaries of human experience. Whether in the case of 'Microcosmic Man' and 'Planet Man' diagrams, demonic possession, or sleight of hand magic tricks, the intersection between the body, the natural, and supernatural world(s) possessed a socio-cultural function: these sources asked wider questions about man's role in the cosmos, the criteria for sainthood, and the role of 'magic' in medieval entertainment.