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Magic

Publication Date Jun 20, 2022

Abstract

What is Magic? Magic has been present throughout human cultures in history, proving equally constant and mutable. Defined as supernatural powers, an explanatory belief system or a form of entertainment, magic persists to this day in new kinds of magical thinking in our highly technical, digitized environment. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, magic has enjoyed a growing visibility in popular culture and scholarship. Contributing to this field, this volume illuminates the multi-faceted topic from a variety of perspectives. The chapters collected here investigate diverse aspects and shapes of magic to uncover its manifold material and immaterial appearances in past and present cultures. While offering a broad overview, this book also provides close readings and in-depth analyses of specialist examples, including magical talismans and amulets, magic of the stage and screen (e.g. Black Panther, Shape of Water), historical magicians and their representations (e.g. Harry Houdini) and contemporary queer and feminist witchcraft (e.g. #MagicResistance). By tracing magic’s strong interrelation with colonial discourses, politics, the economy and the arts, magic’s role is shown to go well beyond its traditional definition. Magic can be a political act, a means of empowerment and protest, an economic metaphor, and an instrument of oppression and liberation alike. This broad spectrum of magic discourses and their permeation into different aspects of cultures in history, present day and fiction is analysed by the more than t...

Concepts

Harry Houdini Feminist Witchcraft Means Of Empowerment Economic Metaphor Black Panther Contemporary Queer Form Of Entertainment Magical Thinking Colonial Discourses Aspects Of Cultures

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