Magic and Witchcraft Panel, PAMLA, Oct 31-Nov 2, 2014; abstract deadline May 15, 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA)

Proposals are invited for a panel on Magic and Witchcraft for the 2014 conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA). This is an approved special session of PAMLA, following the success of special sessions on similar topics in the last two years.

The Western magical tradition has a long history, ranging from Pythagoras to Yeats, from the Druids to the Golden Dawn. Magic can be explained psychologically, archetypally, phenomenologically; perhaps it cannot be explained. Wrapped up with the phenomenon of magic is witchcraft. Witchcraft may be considered a folk, religious, and divinatory practice that is imbued with magic. The histories, functions, and cultural places of magic and witchcraft are not identical, but they often intertwine. These topics have had a powerful grip on our cultural imagination for many centuries.

This panel invites speakers in the fields of historical, cultural, anthropological, literary, and religious studies, as well as practitioners of magic and witchcraft, to contribute to our understanding of these phenomena and their place in the history and literature of Western culture – ancient, medieval, and modern. Topics might include but are not limited to the following:
• witch trials
• witch-hunters' manuals (i.e., Malleus Maleficarum)
• psychological or psychoanalytical interpretations of witchcraft
• gender issues (i.e., witch = female, magician = male)
• magic in ancient mythology and literature
• magic in modern and contemporary literature
• magical practices in contemporary culture
• spells and spell-casting
• specific witches or magicians (i.e., the witch of Endor, Merlin)
• "Familiar Spirits" (PAMLA conference theme)

Please submit your proposed presentation, including title, 50-word abstract and 500-word proposal, at the PAMLA website, You will be asked to create an account in order to submit your material. In addition, please send a brief CV to the panel organizer, Dr. Logan Greene, at The deadline for submission is May 15, 2014. Decisions will be finalized by June 1, 2014.

PAMLA, a regional branch of the international Modern Language Association, will meet October 31-November 2, 2014, in Riverside, California. A complete list of panel topics and information about the conference are available at