Call for Proposals: Myth and Magic

Centre for Myth Studies

Myth Reading Group

Call for Proposals: Myth and Magic


John William Waterhouse (1849-1917), Circe offering the Cup to Odysseus, 1891, Wikimedia Commons

We took the bowls she handed (magic hands!) […]

and then the demon goddess lightly laid her wand upon our hair

—Ovid, Metamorphoses, “The island of Circe”, XIV: 272-75

The Myth Reading Group returns this term with the theme of “Myth and Magic”.

The link between myth and magic is evoked in an array of mythical practices, such as the Ancient Egyptian rituals of the underworld in The Book of The Dead, and explored in literature and art across periods and cultures, from Grimm’s fairytales to Shakespeare, and from Arthurian legends to the magical worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.

Does magic contribute to our understanding of myth? How is magic used in myth-related accounts and to whose benefit?

We invite proposals from anyone who is interested either in the intersection between myth and magic, and its various manifestations, or in interrogating the possibilities of such a connection.

Proposals may focus on magic and myth in religious practices and rituals and the occult or they may address expressions of magic in literature and the arts. We also welcome presentations about the use of magical objects (rings, amulets, and wands, among others) and substances in mythical tales and practices.

Please contact us with your suggestions for works or topics to read and discuss in the Summer term. Many dates are still available. Please email us at

The Myth Reading Group is open to anyone with an interest in myth. We meet every Thursday in term time, between 12:00 and 1:30 p.m. (Room 5B.330) at the University of Essex Colchester Campus. Our sessions include a short presentation, up to 30 minutes, followed by discussion. Our first session will be on Thursday 4 May.

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5 Responses to Call for Proposals: Myth and Magic

  1. Pingback: Round Table Discussion: Myth & Magic | Essex Myth

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  4. Pingback: Merlin and Faust: contrasting representations of magicians in Western literature | Essex Myth

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