Location: S.S209 ARIA attic, Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp

Time: 14h30-17h, unless communicated otherwise

Target audience: junior academic and artistic researchers

In this seminar, Daan Wegener will offer a sketch of the relationship between magic and science from the late Middle Ages until the modern period. Based on this long-term perspective, a couple of generalizations can be made. First, that there is a deep historical link between magic and performance. Second, that experimental science in part emerged from magic, borrowing elements from it and simultaneously emphasizing differences. Of course, this was not simply a matter of science replacing magic. Third, as magic never disappeared, the ambiguous relation between magic and science persisted. This is particularly evident in public manifestations of science.

Preparatory reading:
  1. Golinski, Jan. The Experimental Self: Humphry Davy and the Making of a Man of Science, University of Chicago Press, 2016, pp. 47-73.
  2. Secord, James A. Victorian Sensation. The Extraordinary Publication and Reception of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, University of Chicago Press, 2000, pp. 437-470.
About Daan Wegener 

Daan Wegener is a lecturer history of science at Utrecht University, where has taught a wide variety of courses. His teaching experience includes, among others, the following subjects: history of modern chemistry and physics, history of knowledge from antiquity to the present, science and the public, and science and magic. He has published on the history of the law of energy conservation and the philosophy of Ernst Mach.