He also has an interest in theories of natural magic and related disciplines from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century. In his next major project–tentatively entitled, The Devil’s Cure: Magical Medicine and the Problem of Plausibility in the Seventeenth Century–he will explore the infamous medical remedy known as the weapon salve, which was reputed to heal wounds over great distances when applied not to the wound itself but to the weapon that had caused it, or to traces of the patient’s blood.
In 2008, Dr. Waddell worked as an historical consultant on a traveling exhibition produced by the National Library of Medicine of the NIH: Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine. The exhibition, which has toured throughout the US, Canada, and the UK since 2009, explores important ideas in the history of science and medicine through the Harry Potter novels. It also includes a resource for post-secondary instructors who might want to incorporate some of this history into their own classes.
Dr. Waddell teaches courses in European intellectual history before 1800, the historical interactions between science and religion, and the relationship between gender, race, and science. In Spring of 2016 he will teach a new course on magic, witchcraft, and the occult in pre-modern Europe.
- Waddell, Mark A. 2010. “A Theater of the Unseen: Athanasius Kircher’s Museum in Rome,” in A World Such As This I Dreamed: Cosmogony in the Early Modern Mind, ed. Allison B. Kavey (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan).
- Waddell, Mark A. 2010. “Magic and Artifice in the Collection of Athanasius Kircher.” Endeavour, 34(1): 30-34.
- Waddell, Mark A. 2006. “The World, As It Might Be: Iconography and Probabilism in the Mundus subterraneus of Athanasius Kircher.” Centaurus, 48(1): 3-23.
- Waddell, Mark A. 2003. “The Perversion of Nature: Johannes Baptista van Helmont, the Society of Jesus, and the Magnetic Cure of Wounds.” Canadian Journal of History, 38(2): 179-197.
HST 337: European Thought, 1500-1750
HST 452: Magic, Witchcraft, and the Occult in Pre-Modern Europe
HST 110: Historical Approaches to Contemporary Issues
HST 850: Seminar in Comparative History