Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

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Posts Tagged ‘magical






 CALL FOR PAPERS: Since its inception in 2007, members of Exploring the Extraordinary have organised two very successful academic conferences that have brought together researchers from a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds. The purpose of these events has been to encourage a wider dissemination of knowledge and research, and an interdisciplinary discussion of extraordinary phenomena and experience. By ‘extraordinary’ we refer to phenomena and experiences that are considered to be beyond the mundane, referring to those that have been called supernatural, paranormal, mystical, transcendent, exceptional, spiritual, magical and/or religious, as well as the relevance of such for human culture.

 Keynote Speakers:

 Prof Charles Emmons

Dr Serena Roney-Dougal

 We are delighted to release a call for papers for our third conference, and would like to invite presentation or poster submission on topics related to the above. Please submit a 300-500 word paper abstract, or poster proposal to:

 Dr Madeleine Castro and Dr Hannah Gilbert (

by the 4th April 2011.

Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes in length and intended for an interdisciplinary audience. Please include contact information and a brief biographical note.

 Additionally, we would like to invite contributions to an exhibition that will also be held during the conference. The theme of the exhibition will be organised around two broad themes: ‘Nature, twilight and the night’ and ‘Dimensions of Spirit’. We would like to invite submissions of any of the following: artwork; photography; research images; research footage, moving images or short films (of no more than ten minutes in length and with copyright clearance if necessary). Please feel free to get in touch to discuss any ideas beforehand. The deadline for exhibition submissions is also 4th April, 2011.

Please visit for more information (and to see

past conference schedules), or email


THE THREAT AND ALLURE OF THE MAGICAL in Literature, Language, Philosophy, History and the Arts


13-15 March 2009
“The Threat and Allure of the Magical in Literature, Language, Philosophy, History and the Arts”

17th Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference at the University of California, Berkeley March 13-15, 2009

Dating back to the 9th Century Old High German Merseburg Incantations (die Merseburger Zaubersprüche) and their influence on the fairy-tale world of the Brothers Grimm, references to the magical boil forth from a wide range of cultural forms, from Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) in music to Werner Herzog’s Invincible in film. In silent film, modern literature and the arts, magic both heralded and haunted an artistic revolution in which the avant-garde and the occult recurrently intersected. In critical theory, ideology is often described in terms of a spell. Accordingly, this conference presents an opportunity to explore these cultural encounters with the magical and further inquire why this space of radical alterity carries such an allure and/or threat.

Thus, we invite scholars from all disciplines to submit paper proposals in German or English on the questions of the magical and its role in the German-speaking world. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

The magical in art, film, music, pop-culture and history
The occult and the avant-garde
Nazism and the occult
The magical in the language of critical thought
The mesmerizing, magical aspects of ideology
The magical in courtly culture, Renaissance and the Early Modern
Linguistic alchemy
The magical in philosophy (for example, the Veil of Maya in the works of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche)
Magical Realism
Astrology and Alchemy in literature
Magic in fairy tales and folklore
The weird, strange and the other
The living dead/creatures of myth and magic in film and literature
The language of incantations and spells

Please send an abstract of not more than 250 words with a separate cover sheet indicating the proposed title, author’s name, affiliation, and email address to:

Ashwin Manthripragada/Emina Musanovic/Dagmar Theison
Department of German,
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3243


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