112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

Magic and Witchcraft III

Session Chair: 
Tracee Howell, University of Pittsburgh, Bradford
Session 6: Saturday 10:30am-12:00pm
RCC Raincross E


  1. Matthew Ferguson, University of California, Irvine
    Magic and witchcraft are regarded not only as ‘paranormal’, but also ‘supernatural’. Paranormal events are those that lie beyond the bounds of existing scientific knowledge, such as alien abductions. However, not all ‘paranormal’ things, such as aliens, are equally regarded as ‘supernatural’, like magic and witchcraft. This paper aims to craft a metaphysical distinction between the ‘natural’ and the ‘supernatural’, in order to better understand what it is about magic that makes it so magical.  
  2. Adam J. Dexter, Tulane University
    This paper examines the confession of Madeleine Bavent from a judicial and cultural standpoint, both as a legal document and as an epistemological narrative. My analysis argues that Madeleine's confession is a carefully manipulated document in which a narrative of guilt is constructed and used against her. Although replete with stereotypical images of witchcraft, the confession supplies us with an important tool for understanding how knowledge, deviance and punishment of women were constructed during these trials. 
  3. Giulia Hoffmann, University of California, Riverside
    In this paper, I analyze conjuring performances by Anna Eva Fay, one of the first female stage magicians in America, arguing that her depiction of herself as a spirit medium enabled her to succeed in a profession dominated by men, and transformed cultural conceptions about magic and the supernatural.
  4. Martin Arno, University of Toronto
    Though 'magic' often connotes non-monotheistic practices, the 1st century Testament of Solomon subverts this construction, since the magician is King Solomon of Israel, who adjures demons to construct the Temple of God. Sol remained a 'safe avenue' for monotheists to satisfy their intrigue with magic and engage with the divine.
Session Cancelled: