7 October 2017
University Hall, The University of Western Australia

Today, the natural and the supernatural are often viewed in stark opposition. In the medieval and early modern period, however, the supernatural infused every aspect of daily life. Prayers and rites punctuated everyday routines, and natural phenomena – such as earthquakes and eclipses – were often viewed with both suspicion and wonder or as divine portents. Miracle stories, rumours of witchcraft, and accounts of relic veneration all indicate that magic shaped medieval and early modern imaginations. The early modern period was also an era of European exploration, invasion and colonisation, which saw the increase of scientific knowledge though encounters with a number of societies around the globe. Natural histories, travel narratives, and objects circulated widely, creating new connections and shaping existing belief systems. As these sources demonstrate, however, persecution also abounded, and was often prompted by perceived differences in culture or beliefs about the (super)natural.

This conference will examine the numerous and various intersections of the natural and the supernatural.


Standard Rate: $70
PMRG Members: $50
Concession: $15

Download the poster here.

Opening Lecture

A free public lecture, ‘Invisible Maps: Cartographic Coding in Shakespeare’s Henry V and Julius Caesar‘ by professor Christopher Wortham (University of Notre Dame), will open the conference on the evening of Friday 6 October 2017. For more information, click here.