Science and Magic Grad Conference at Princeton (April 2011)

The deadline for this CFP (at the bottom) is Jan 15, 2011.

Science and Magic: Ways of Knowing in the Renaissance

Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

29 – 30 April 2011

Keynote Speaker: Bruce Moran, Department of History, University of
Nevada, Reno

In his Oration on the Dignity of Man, Pico della Mirandola described
two forms of magic. There was that branch of sorcery consisting
“wholly in the operations and powers of demons,” as well as a more
benign craft pertaining to none other than “the highest realization of
natural philosophy.” To many Renaissance thinkers, magic was thus at
once a legitimate field of study, as well as a potential threat to
established orthodoxies. Inspired by this influential formulation,
this interdisciplinary graduate student conference invites papers
related to diverse ways of magical and scientific knowing in the

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

•       Distinctions between magic, science and/or “pseudo-science” in
theory and practice.
•       Forms of scientific literature and magical artifacts; depictions or
imitations of natural phenomena.
•       The transmission of licit and illicit magic; the role of natural
philosophy and magic in education.
•       The attitudes and policies of secular and ecclesiastical authorities.
•       The early modern European witch-hunts.
•       Alchemical theory and practice.
•       The articulation and reception of prophecies.
•       The commerce of magic; the financial circumstances of men of science
or magicians.
•       Assessments of truth and falsehood; the role of charlatans.
•       Encyclopedic texts, indexing schemes and the organization of knowledge.
•       Gender and Magic.
•       Magic in the New World and beyond; extra-European influences on
Renaissance magic and science.

This conference is conducted under the auspices of the Renaissance
Studies Program at Princeton University. Interested graduate students
should submit abstracts of no more than 350 words to Scott Francis
( by January 15, 2011.

All applicants will be notified by January 30, 2011. Papers
should be no longer than 20 minutes.

About Steve Mentz 1265 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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