The Centre for Magic and Esotericism
  • The Centre for Magic and Esotericism

    Occulture Conference: A Master’s Degree in Magic

    Posted by Emily Selove

    15 September 2023

    19-22 OCTOBER – BERLIN


    The University of Exeter will launch a new Master’s Degree program on Magic and the Occult in 2024: a flexible degree which gives students the freedom to explore their specific interests within the long and diverse history of esotericism, witchcraft, ritual magic, and related topics. This lecture will explain the rationale behind the MA’s structure, exploring, for example, the reason why it is based in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, but includes colleagues from at least six different departments. It will also explain the two dissertation module options: one employing historical, social science, or literary methodologies, and one based in the drama department and employing performance and practice-based methodologies. In explaining the genesis of this degree, we will illuminate the growing importance of the study of magic and the occult in the academy today, and its potential to break new ground in academic research techniques. Not only does research into magic and the occult allow us to explore alternative epistemologies and embodied knowledge, it furthermore provides the opportunity to address some of the most urgent challenges of our society. This is because the study of these topics necessarily entails reimagining the relationship of human cultures to one another and to the natural world. By housing this program in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, we place the Arabo-Islamic cultural heritage back where it belongs in the centre of these studies and in the history of the “West.” Decolonisation, feminism, and anti-racism are at the core of this programme.

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