23 Oct 2018 5:00pm - 7:00pm Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road


Dr Carl Watkins (University Senior Lecturer in Central Medieval History, Cambridge)


Carl Watkins is the author of The Undiscovered Country: Journeys Among the Dead (2013), a “vivid history of the macabre” in which “Watkins goes in search of the ancient customs, local characters and compelling tales that illuminate how people over the years have come to terms with our ultimate fate.” The result is “an enthralling journey into Britain’s past, from medieval hauntings on the Yorkshire moors and eccentric memorials on the Cornish coast to séances in Victorian kitchens and gallows tales from a Bristol gaol.”

In this talk, ‘Landscapes of the Dead’, Carl will focus on the British Isles and will discuss various topographies of haunting and matters of recent archaeology. With reference to his recent work on vision-narratives, he will also explore otherworldly topographies so as to reflect on the relationships between how the dead were imagined in this world and the next across the later middle ages.


Carl Watkins is University Senior Lecturer in Central Medieval History. He carries out research into religious culture in the central and later middle ages and is especially interested in beliefs about, and conceptualisations of, the supernatural in this period. His work encompasses the methodological problems of studying medieval religion, 'high' theological change and 'popular' beliefs about the afterlife and ghosts, angels and demons, miracles and divine signs. He has written about concepts of sinfulness and the emergence of purgatory, has completed a book for Cambridge University Press which explores beliefs about the supernatural in a medieval English context and has, more recently, explored beliefs about the dead during the middle ages and beyond in The Undiscovered Country (2013), a wider-ranging book published by Bodley Head. He is a fellow of Magdalene College where he directs studies in history.




Open to all. No registration required
Part of The Alchemical Landscape Research Networks Series

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