“University of Exeter to Introduce Degree Program in Magic”

The University of Exeter will introduce a pioneering MA program in Magic and Occult Science in 2024, marking one of the UK’s first such degrees. This innovative course has been developed in response to a recent surge in interest in magic. It offers students the opportunity to explore the global history and influence of witchcraft and magic on society and science. This one-year program commences in September 2024.

The course will draw on the expertise of academics specializing in history, literature, philosophy, archaeology, sociology, psychology, drama, and religion to examine the role of magic in both Western and Eastern contexts. It distinguishes itself as one of the few postgraduate programs in the UK that combines the study of magic’s history with a diverse range of other disciplines.

Professor Emily Selove, the course leader, noted that the growing fascination with magic and the occult, both inside and outside academia, addresses pressing societal questions such as decolonization, alternative ways of knowing, feminism, and anti-racism.

This MA program will be offered within the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. Professor Selove emphasized that it provides a platform for reevaluating the assumption that the West is characterized by rationalism and science, while the rest of the world is steeped in magic and superstition.

The university highlighted the program’s versatility, preparing students for careers in teaching, counseling, mentoring, heritage and museum work, library positions, tourism, arts organizations, or the publishing industry, among other fields. The curriculum offers various modules, including topics like dragons in Western literature and art, the legend of King Arthur, palaeography, Islamic thought, archaeological theory and practice, and the portrayal of women in the Middle Ages.

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