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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Charms and Clairvoyance - Magic in Old English and Old Norse Literature

1st September 2010, 17:30 to 19:00, Alington House, 4 North Bailey, Roberta Bassi and John Shafer

This lecture will explore the ways in which magic is portrayed in the literature of pre-Conquest England and of medieval Iceland. A brief outline of the idea of magic will lead to a journey through the most widely studied Old English charms and towards the development of the genre after the conversion to Christianity. The various portrayals of magic in Old Norse literature will be examined, from the mythological clairvoyance of eddic poems to the prophetic visions, magic spells and shape-shifting of later adventure sagas. Points of contact between the two traditions will also be addressed.

The Durham Late Summer Lecture Series is designed to showcase postgraduate research in the Department of English Studies to a general audience from both within and outside of the university, and to offer PhD students and post-docs in the Department of English Studies an opportunity for lecturing and aims to provide valuable experience for later job applications.

Contact for more information about this event.


Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.


Many of our public lectures, seminars and conferences are recorded, and can be listened to as podcasts.

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