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Text, Context, and Non-Text: Grimoires in Central Europe

April 5-6, 2013

Sat, April 6, 2013

This conference is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of a large corpus of magic texts that figure prominently in the cultural and intellectual history of Europe. Its focus will be grimoires, real or imagined, whose legacy has reverberated throughout European culture in the form of folktales, literature (Faust, for example), and graphic art down to the present, at times being among the few treasured possessions brought to the New World.

Abstracts are requested that address any facet of this cultural legacy, in any country and in any era:

  • TEXT refers to the content of the grimoire, its images and words, and issues arising from these directly--analysis of meaning, new manuscript finds, translations, etc. 
  • CONTEXT refers to the total situation in which the grimoire exists, with a view to politics, arts and letters, religion, folklore, etc. 
  • NON-TEXT refers to any situation in which the grimoire as object or as idea is more central than its content--the evocative indecipherability of existing grimoires, the grimoire as an emblem, key, or symbol, etc.

Abstracts for twenty-minute conference presentations from any discipline will be considered. Please send the abstract as part of an email to: Abstracts should be no more than 500 words long and accompanied by a brief (250 word) biography suitable for an introduction at the conference. The conference language is English. All abstracts should be submitted by December 15th (Jan 15th extended deadline.)

We look forward to welcoming a variety of exciting keynote speakers from Central Europe:

Prof. em. Leander Petzoldt of the University of Innsbruck, author of numerous books and collections of folklore, including Magie: Weltbild, Praktiken, Rituale (Magic: World View, Practices, Rituals)

Dr. Susanne Hose of the Sorbian Institute in Bautzen, Germany, author of numerous works on the motifs of magic and magicians (such as Krabat) in the folklore of Lusatia.

Dr. Benedek Láng of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, author ofUnlocked Books, Manuscripts of Learned Magic in the Medieval Libraries in Central Europe.


Conference sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Texas Chair for Czech Studies, and the Departments of History, Germanic Studies, and Religious Studies.

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  • Center for European Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st Street
    Austin, Texas 78712