Generation Hex

See below for a fascinating Call For Papers from Jonathan Woolley, Kavita Maya and Elizabeth Cruse.

Generation Hex: The Politics of Contemporary Paganism

Convenors: Jonathan Woolley, University of Cambridge; Kavita Maya, SOAS, University of London; Elizabeth Cruse, Druid Elder and Activist.

Venue: Seminar Room, Division of Social Anthropology, Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RF.
Date: 09.30 – 16.30, 10th September 2015.

Themes: Paganism and Nature Spirituality; Goddess Spirituality and Feminism; Theology and Thealogy; Cultural Appropriation; Feminist Theory; Gender and Sexuality; Ecopolitics and Environmentalism; Activism; Politics and Religion.

Disciplines: Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, Gender and Religion, Study of Religions, Social Anthropology, Intellectual and Political History, Gender Studies, Queer Studies.

Call for Papers: Contemporary Paganisms have had a conflicted relationship with modernity throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Pagan ideologies are interwoven with the political, from the feminist eco-anarchism of Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance, to the conservative racial essentialism of Stephen McNallen. How these representations translate into ethical/political commitments is open to question.

This workshop aims to explore the political discourses of contemporary Pagan religions, whether Witchcraft, Druidry or Goddess spirituality. Questions we offer for consideration include: Is 21st century Paganism oriented towards social change? Is it possible to speak of a unified, coherent Pagan political project? Is there a single moral framework within Pagan thought, or are the ethical implications of different traditions conflicting and contradictory? What challenge might the politics of feminism, postcolonialism, or queer theory represent for Pagan beliefs and practices? How does Paganism respond to global capitalism? And what would a Pagan politics that meets these challenges look, sound, and feel like?

In addressing these questions, this workshop will unite community engagement with an interdisciplinary academic approach, bringing together scholars from social anthropology, critical theory, history, cultural studies and the study of religions into dialogue with activists and authors within the Pagan community.

Convened by a new community of pagan scholars, Generation Hex will seek to examine these issues in the course of a day-long workshop.

Lunch and refreshments provided.

The one-day workshop will include the presentation of at least four papers (solicited via an open Call for Papers) given by academics who have expertise in the themes mentioned above. Each paper will be followed by a roundtable discussion on the topics raised in the paper by both academics and community activists. Lunch will be served in the Division’s common room, and will be provided as part of the workshop.

We hope to provide an accessible and welcoming space for all participants. Information on the accessibility of Division’s buildings is available here; please also contact the conveners directly with any requests for information or assistance.

Workshop Aims:
  • To provide critical insights into the present political agency of Britain’s pagan community, informing broader academic debates about the relationship between the political and the spiritual.
  • To create an opportunity for junior academics with a background in Pagan Studies to present their work, and receive feedback from their peers and contributors.
  • To promote dialogue between Pagan activists and scholars.
  • To create a forum for in-depth discussions regarding the future of British Pagan communities, including established figures, future leaders, and academics.

  • A special edition of a suitable journal (such as The Pomegranate).

Contact Details:
To book a place or submit an abstract, please email Places are limited, so please do register with us if you would like to attend. Abstracts should be 100 words in length, for a paper lasting no more than 20 minutes.