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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

Durham MEMSA Community Course 2017: Alchemy, Astronomy, Witchcraft and Magic, c. 500-1700 AD

4th May 2017, 18:00 to 22nd June 2017, 18:00, World Heritage Site Visitors Centre

This eight week community course, brought to you by Durham’s Medieval and Early Modern Student Association, will introduce you to the weirder and more wonderful side of medieval and renaissance culture. This course is for anyone who wants to learn more about our historical fascination with everything that comes under the broad umbrella of alchemy, astronomy, witchcraft or magic. Get ready for werewolves, headless saints, star-gazing heretics and a whole lot more besides!

The full course is offered at a charge of £35.00 per person. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided at the beginning of every session, and there will be an opportunity to attend a manuscript exhibition at Palace Green Library on the 2nd June for no extra charge.

Registration has now closed for this course as the event is sold out.

Several of the sessions offer a regional perspective: we will be exploring records of witchcraft trials in the Durham church courts, and seek to understand the provenance of objects in the Whitby museum such as the Hand of Glory, hangman’s locket and unicorn horn.

Led by a team of specialist researchers, the course will be relaxed and informal – no prior knowledge is required.

The course consists of eight weekly sessions as follows (full details are available here):

  • Thursday 4th May 2017, 6.00-8.00pm
  • Thursday 11th May 2017, 6.00-8.00pm
  • Thursday 18th May 2017, 6.00-8.00pm
  • Thursday 25th May 2017, 6.00-8.00pm
  • Friday 2nd June 2017, 6.00-8.00pm*
  • Thursday 8th June 2017, 6.00-8.00 pm
  • Thursday 15th June 2017, 6.00-8.00 pm
  • Thursday 22nd June 2017, 6.00-8.00 pm

*Please note that there will be an additional manuscript exhibition at 2.30-4.30pm on this day.

Contact for more information about this event.