Mapping Modern Magic(k)

   For a few decades a global discourse of contemporaneous self-designated 'magicians' is flourishing (more or less) below the radar of scientific and multimedia awareness. They practice a ritual art usually denoted as 'magick' and bear witness to their experiences by means of numerous publication activities. The cooperative research project entitled 'Mapping Modern Magic(k)' (with Prof. Egil Asprem, Stockholm, and Prof. Marco Pasi, Amsterdam, as cooperative partners) strives to systematically map and analyse the internal structures and networks, the formation of groups and schools, the self-perceptions and experience reports, and the conceptual and ritual dynamics of this discourse. The project is ambitious and challenging in so far as said discourse is inherently global and transcultural as well as structurally (i. e. regarding important schools, rituals techniques or group formations) extremely heterogenous. During the project, an analytical matrix will be developed that helps to map and organise the manifold material. Furthermore, I intend to provide a nuanced explanation of the unexpected persistence, innovation and popularity of 'magick' in the (post-)modern West.  

Affiliated Persons

Photograph of PD Dr. Bernd-Christian Otto

PD Dr. Bernd-Christian Otto

Individual Researcher