MAgicAncient Magic and the Supernatural in the Modern Visual and Performing Arts examines the impact of ancient religious, mythological and magical models on modern mentalities and ideologies as expressed in the visual and performing arts.
To what extent did mythological figures such as Circe and Medea influence the representation of the powerful “oriental” enchantress in modern Western art? What role did the ancient gods and heroes play in the construction of the imaginary worlds of the modern fantasy genre? What is the role of undead creatures like zombies and vampires in mythological films? Looking across the millennia, from the distrust of ancient magic and oriental cults, seen as a menace by a new-born Christian religion, to the revival and adaptation of ancient myths and religion in the arts centuries later, this book offers an original analysis of the reception of ancient magic and the supernatural, across a wide variety of different media – from comics to film, from painting to opera. The authors of the essays come from different fields and countries, and aim to deconstruct certain scholarly traditions by proposing original interdisciplinary approaches and collaborations, showing to what extent the visual and performing arts of different periods interlink and shape cultural and social identities.

The volume provides the reader with a clear insight into mechanisms of re-elaboration and reception which can be steadily seen at work in artistic and commercial productions. It also supplies new approaches to the most debated questions of the relationship between magic, religion and superstition in the ancient and in the modern worlds. It shows and discusses the shifting and biased interpretations of these concepts in modern visual culture. Edited by Filippo Carlà and Irene Berti and published by Bloomsbury Publishing, Ancient Magic and the Supernatura will be out in March 2015.

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Table Of Contents
1. Magic and the Supernatural: an Introduction, I. Berti and F. Carlà (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany, University of Exeter, UK)
2. Gods and Demons in Texts: Figures and Symbols of the Defixion Inscriptions of the Nymphaeum of Anna Perenna at Rome, J. Blänsdorf (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany)
3. Imaging Magic, Imaging Thinking: The Transmission of Greek Drama from Sophocles to Crimp, L. Hardwick (The Open University, UK)
4. Celtic Magic and Rituals in The War Lord (F. Schaffner, 1965), D. Campanile (Università degli Studi di Pisa, Italy)
5. Witch, Sorceress, Enchantress: Magic and Women from the Ancient World to the Present Time, G. Rocca and M. Treu (IULM Milano, Italy)
6. Circe diva. The Reception of Circe in the Baroque Opera (17th Century), M. J. Castillo Pascual (Universidad de La Rioja, Spain)
7. Medea, a Greek Sorceress in Modern Opera and Ballet: from Barber to Reimann, M. Reig and J. Carruesco (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain)
8. Colchian Pharmaka: The Colours of Medea in 19th Century Painting in France and England, A. Grand-Clément and C. Ribeyrol (Université de Toulouse II – Le Mirail, France, Université Paris IV – Sorbonne, France)
9. Canidia and Erichtho, C. Walde (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany)
10. Project(ion) Wonder Woman – Metamorphoses of a Superheroine, M. Gindhart and A. Gietzen (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany)
11. Ancient Horrors – Cinematic Antiquity and the Undead, M. Lindner (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany)
12. The Phoenix, the Werewolf and the Centaur. The Reception of Mythical Beasts in the Harry Potter Novels and Their Film Adaptions, D. Hofmann (Universität zu Köln, Germany)
13. Theoi becoming Kami. Classical Mythology in the Anime World, M. G. Castello and C. Scilabra (Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy)
14. Every Pony Has a Story: Revisions of Greco-Roman Mythology in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Priscilla Hobbs (Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA)
15. The Depraved Devotion of Elagabalus. Images of the Priest-Emperor in the Visual and Performing Arts, M. Icks (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
16. Women and Religion in the Epic Films: The Fifties’ Advocate for Conversion and Today’s Pillar of Paganism?, A. Wieber (Westfalen-Kolleg Dortmund, Germany)