UCC Library in Collaboration with the Study of Religions Department
Thursday 11 April, 16:00-18:00
UCC Boole Library Creative Zone for the Guest Lecture by Professor Diane Purkiss, University of Oxford, 4.00-5.00pm UCC Boole Library Exhibition Space for Opening of Exhibition, 5.15pm-6.00pm
Research Exhibition based on ethnographic fieldwork in Ireland, Iceland and Newfoundland, Canada. The research was supported by The Royal Irish Academy, Ireland Canada University Foundation, Newfoundland Ireland Partnership (Department of An Taoiseach), and the the Study of Religions Department.
Professor Diane Purkiss' Guest Lecture title: 'Scary and Sexy Fairies: a Scottish Witch and the Fairy Queen of the Underworld'
In 1597, near Aberdeen, a Scottish magician called Andrew Man was plying a flourishing trade as a political activist, healer, and part-time prophet. As part of his method for convincing his clients of his authority, he became accustomed to telling them about the time he had spent under the ground in a realm he called Elfhome, or fairyland. There, he said, he enjoyed a sexual relationship with the Queen of the fairies, and also befriended James IV, dead king of the Scots, and Thomas the Rhymer, prophet and poet. He also encountered a more mysterious figure whom he called Christsunday, an angel or demon that could transform himself into a stag at will. Andrew’s tales read as a compendium of Gaelic Otherworld lore. That was almost certainly why he was condemned for witchcraft by the Presbyterians Kirk, which was determined to exterminate Gaelic Scotland and its myths and secrets.