Delineating the Preternatural: Modern Occultism in a Scientific Context

Alison Butler's picture
Call for Publications
December 15, 2015
Subject Fields: 
European History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Intellectual History, Religious Studies and Theology, Philosophy

This special issue of Preternature seeks papers that examine the relationship between modern occultism and science, in particular historical explorations of how occult phenomena have been observed through a scientific lens. The supposed line between science and magic is blurred in many periods, however the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were suitably ripe for crossover as men of magic attempted to explain their interests in scientific language, and men of science took great interest in examining so-called occult phenomena.

How does the preternatural fare under such scientific measures and scrutiny? What are the effects of the collision of scientific methodology with the preternatural subject? What happens when the preternatural is examined and presented as natural? This volume focuses on examining these effects throughout a series of historical explorations of the intersection of modern science and occultism in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Abstracts of 300-500 words are due December 15, 2015; final papers will be due April 15, 2016. Contributions should usually be 8,000 - 12,000 words, including all documentation and critical apparatus. If accepted for publication, manuscripts will be required to adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (style 1, employing footnotes).

Please submit abstracts to guest editor: Alison Butler:

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