CFP: Esotericism & Occultism in Contemporary Popular Culture

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. George Sieg, editor
contact email: 



Esotericism and its modern western offspring, occultism, have been intertwined with popular culture throughout their history, a phenomenon summarized in various models of “occulture” as originally proposed by Dr. Christopher Partridge.  While this has been explored to some degree by scholars of contemporary esotericism, vast opportunities remain in the field of popular culture studies to examine how contemporary popular culture is increasingly influenced by the contemporary surge in fascination with, and growing mainstream embrace of, esoteric and occult themes and content.  Similarly, contemporary esoteric and occult practitioners themselves are increasingly open to acknowledging direct, and frequently self-conscious, inspiration from popular culture.  While this orientation of influence is by no means restricted to the contemporary period, the self-awareness of this process by contemporary esoteric and occult practitioners presents a historically significant circumstance.  Similarly, the academic availability of these concepts also makes it possible for specific areas of popular culture and practice, in distinct venues such as popular religion, scholarship, and the media, to engage with them.  This continues to perpetuate their further formation, development, expression, and reception within the surrounding culture.

This trans/inter-disciplinary volume proposed to McFarland Publishing seeks contributions from all scholarly methodologies and/or academic disciplines/perspectives, addressing the relationship and interactions (or specific examples thereof) between esotericism, occultism and contemporary popular culture.  Papers would be welcomed utilizing any well-reasoned model for esotericism and occultism, and are not restricted to conceptions of “Western” or otherwise regional/civilizational esotericisms, though such regionally specific papers are equally sought. 

Please direct any inquiries, and abstracts of 250-500 words, to Dr. George Sieg, at   

Final selections will be made by October 31, 2018, but subsequent submissions may be considered due to the possibility of multiple volumes.