University offering master's degree in magick and the occult

Originally published at: University offering master's degree in magick and the occult | Boing Boing


I wonder if Hogwarts offers extension courses in macroeconomics.


Before you get all debunky, note that the curriculum isn’t focused on being a practitioner of magick but rather exploring “the long and diverse history of esotericism, witchcraft, ritual magic, occult sciences, divination, and related topics.”

So Mitch Horowitz shouldn’t get his hopes up for an honourary doctorate.


Looks like Miskatonic University has some competition now…

Also, possible new Alma Mater for a certain Harry Dresden.


Studying the occult (in a rational, historical way rather than as a believer) is not particularly new. Frances Yates was studying Giordano Bruno and the like in the 1960s. The Warburg Institute associated with the University of London is dedicated to this stuff to this day.


Motto of the University of Exeter: Lucem sequimur (“We Follow the Light”)
to which a possible addendum: et viridi volans capite (“…and the green floating head”)

(no faith in the single class in Latin being correct there)


I love a good de-colonization as much as the next left leaning university professor, but housing it in the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies just isn’t where it would go.

Likewise calling the “core” of the program “Decolonisation, the exploration of alternative epistemologies, feminism, and anti-racism are at the core of this programme” seems to be trying too hard to shoe horn in themes that are not in alignment with “the long and diverse history of esotericism, witchcraft, ritual magic, occult sciences, divination, and related topics.”

I can fully see where a feminist read and contextualization of the occult (e.g. witchcraft) would be on point,however not all contemporary perspectives will be as fruitfully applied. I think they’re immediately going to run into issues with modern perspectives on alternative epistemology. It’s really tricky stuff to do because we’re all post enlightenment thinkers (or at least nominally trained as such) in academia.


Reminds me of Fay Weldon’s novel Darcy’s Utopia, in which a university class dabbling in witchcraft leads to all kinds of trouble & a new society:
Published by Open Road Media

From the internationally bestselling author of The Hearts and Lives of Men and The Life and Loves of a She-Devil comes a novel that asks a provocative question: If you ruled the world, what would you do? Eleanor Darcy has come up in the world. With her second husband in prison for financial crimes against the nation, she is a media sensation. A self-professed “feminist of the socialist variety,” Eleanor grants an exclusive interview to Hugh Vansitart and Valerie Jones, a pair of ambitious journalists. Her vision of the future includes the abolition of money and society-approved procreation, a world in which “all men will believe in God and be capable of love.” During the course of their interviews, Hugh and Valerie succumb to some erotic impulses of their own, while Eleanor goes on to become patron saint of the Darcian Movement. From the storyteller who is constantly measuring the moral pulse of men and women, Darcy’s Utopia is an uproarious and subversive riff on the age-old battle of the sexes.


When it comes to the hidden world, Dr Justin Sledge is my preferred guide.


This actually sounds like an absolutely fascinating set of courses. I wonder if I can get my hands on the reading list?


And that goes right on the old wish list.


If you’re not going to teach me how to turn Trump into a newt - what good are you?




By housing this program in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, we place the Arabo-Islamic cultural heritage back where it belongs

Also, it’s probably the only building on the campus that has space for more students. (I never went in when I was at uni there, but it always seems to be well funded)


Apparently, you can only use transformation spells to turn a target in to a lower form of life; so “Trump in to Newt” wouldn’t work.

@smulder My bank used to have an escalator to enter and leave it, plus a sign directing customers to an “Alternative Staircase”.


200,000,000 years? That’s some staying power.

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