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Magic Circle seminar group: archive

Magic Circle seminar group: archive

Return to the list of forthcoming seminars.

# Friday 16th October 2015, 11.00am - the Magic Circle is taking a rest 2014-2015
Magic Circle Seminar 2014-2015
Venue: Scott Polar Research Institute

As Piers Vitebsky is on leave and fieldwork for most of this year, the Magic Circle is taking a rest. Regular meetings will resume in October 2015. If an occasional event is organised before then, information will be circulated to those on the mailing list.

# Friday 30th May 2014, 11.00am - Paul Connerton
How the living and the dead previously formed a single community
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 23rd May 2014, 2.30pm - Laurence Edwards
Laurence Edwards invites you to a pouring of molten bronze at Butley Mills Studios in Suffolk
Venue: Butley Mills, Mill Lane, Butley, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3PZ

Copper and bronze were the earliest metals to be worked into pliable shapes. This allowed the development of metal tools, but also the audacious creation of moulded statues with the form of living humans. Laurence is a master of these complicated ancient processes. Having heated the kiln over several days before our arrival to cook the moulds, he will fire up the furnace on the day and pour the red-hot metal in front of our eyes.

Members of our group will contribute brief thoughts about metalworkers and other shape-shifters:
– Prudence Jones will talk about the mythology of bronze in ancient Mesopotamia.
– Zoya Tarasova will talk about the magical properties of blacksmiths and shamans in Siberia.
– Paul Connerton will introduce the book “The dream of the moving statue” by Kenneth Gross.
– Richard Spaul (InSitu Theatre Company) will turn into a succession of different persons.

We need to know numbers, and make sure that everyone has a way of getting there. Please contact this e-mail address to request or offer a lift (or to confirm that you will go by train and cycle the last few miles). Contributions to the barbeque gratefully accepted. If numbers threaten to become too great, priority will be given to Magic Circle regulars.

Time: 2.30pm till early evening (including barbecue on a giant metal disc).
See: http://www.globo.org.uk/laurenceedwards.html

# Friday 16th May 2014, 11.00am - Eleanor Peers
Creativity and controversy in Siberian shamanic revivalism: can an area spirit become a chakra?
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 7th March 2014, 11.00am - Dan Sherer
‘Authentic’ theatre-making in New York
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 28th February 2014, 11.00am - Anastasia Piliavsky
India’s human democracy
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 21st February 2014, 11.00am - NO SEMINAR
NO SEMINAR
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 14th February 2014, 11.00am - Aparecida Vilaça
A very informal discussion of friendships in the field
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 7th February 2014, 11.00am - Nick Evans
Ritual prayer duelling
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 31st January 2014, 11.00am - Marilyn Strathern
Uncertain journeying: an anthropologist not quite at home
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 29th November 2013, 11.00am - Vieda Skultans (Bristol)
Ideology or democratisation in Latvian psychiatric clinics
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 22nd November 2013, 11.00am - John Richens
How the suppression of headhunting in New Guinea in the 1920s triggered an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 15th November 2013, 11.00am - Adeel Khan (Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue)
Translating Lord Krishna and the Prince of Wales into Arabic
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

The speaker will also promote a lecture on “Arabic women in Dialogue” to be given in Cambridge by Dr Aisha al-Mannai, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, on Tuesday the 19th November (location and time TBA).

# Friday 8th November 2013, 11.00am - Michael Herzfeld
Tracing crypto-imperialism from Thailand to the Greek Euro-crisis
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 1st November 2013, 11.00am - Prudence Jones
Ghosts and their perceivers: a guided walk through haunted Cambridge
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Today is All Saints’ Day. Come dressed for a walk through town. After a short introduction we will depart at 11.15 and end at 1pm at Cafe Rouge near Magdalene College.
At the meeting we will also organise a block booking for those who want to go to an open-air performance of “Saints and souls” on the Wandlebury Hills outside Cambridge that evening at 7.30pm – see http://www.insitutheatre.co.uk/2013/10/07/the

# Friday 25th October 2013, 11.00am - Paul Connerton
Why we are fascinated by ruins
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 18th October 2013, 11.00am - Liana Chua
Troubled landscapes, troubling anthropology
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 5th July 2013, 11.00am - Terto Kreutzmann
Intimate relations between hunters and spirits in Greenland
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Saturday 29th June 2013, 11.00am - Tania Kossberg, Sally Wolfe, Piers Vitebsky
Anthropology and psychotherapy in the Norwegian Arctic
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Saturday 29 June, from 10.00 to 13.00 (followed by lunch as usual). Please note the unusual day and earlier starting time.

Tania Kossberg: Family therapy as a healing landscape.
Sally Wolfe and Piers Vitebsky: Ghosts of abandoned babies: secrets and attachments

# Friday 28th June 2013, 11.00am - Olga Ulturgasheva
Inviting Native Americans to a Siberian reindeer camp
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 14th June 2013, 11.00am - Laurent Legrain
A Mongolian sonic continuum
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 7th June 2013, 11.00am - Kamal Adhikari
Shamans, plants and antibiotics in Nepal
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 31st May 2013, 11.00am - Marlene Schafers
Kurdish female bards and the Van earthquake of 2011
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 24th May 2013, 11.00am - Marilyn Strathern
NO SEMINAR: POSTPONED TO A LATER DATE - Reading relations backwards
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 17th May 2013, 11.00am - Marilena Frisone
A Japanese new religious movement in Kathmandu
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

# Friday 10th May 2013, 11.00am - Paul Connerton
How we suppress the fact of death
Venue: Piers Vitebsky's office, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Abstract not available

Earlier meetings

Previous seminars have included:

  • Kamal Adhikari: Herbal Viagra and the Biopirates in the Himalayas
  • Olivier Allard: Laziness and Stinginess. Moral values and social dynamics among the Warao
  • Ross Anthony: A centre at the margin: notes on a city in north-west China
  • Nares Atto: From sword to songs
  • Françoise Barbira-Freedman: Shamanic networks in western Amazonia
  • Tim Bayliss-Smith: WHR Rivers' Ideas about Magic, Medicine and Religion
  • Naor Ben-Yehoyada: How to do things with bullets: Metapragmatic reframing and dialogic heteroglossia off the Gaza Shore
  • Frank Bille: Mongolian ethnicity. Idealisations and forceful inclusions
  • Frank Bille: Monumentality and the Colossal: On the seductiveness of totalitarian architecture
  • Barbara Bodenhorn: Re-animating Christianity
  • Donatas Brandisauskas: Mastery and Luck among Orochen-Evenki of Eastern Siberia
  • Stéphane Breton (École des Hautes études en Sciences Sociales, Paris): Non-fiction Film and the Ethnographer: The Northbound Journey of a Melanesianist
  • Marc Brightman (Oxford and Geneva): Maps and clocks in Surinam
  • Ludek Broz: On animal self-sacrifice in contemporary Altai
  • Carole J. Brown-Leonardi: Notions of Property: Migration and traditional boundaries in the Deh Cho region
  • Manduhai Buyandelger: Trouble with Female Shamans in Mongolia
  • Gilly Carr: Haunted by the Occupation: ghosts of war in the Channel Islands
  • Bernard Charlier: Hunting the wolf for 'wind horses'in Mongolia, and revealing the individual
  • Giovanni da Col: The view from somewhen: cosmological ethics, perspectivism and fortune among Yunnan Tibetans
  • Paul Connerton: Seven types of forgetting
  • Quinton Deeley: Revelatory experience: perspectives from neuroscience, psychiatry, and the humanities
  • Ven Vajira Dehiwela: Aspects of the dhamma in Sri Lanka (Ven Vajira Dehiwela is a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka and a former field assistant of Piers Vitebsky)
  • Sabine Deiringer: Organising documents, polities and history: The Native Hawaiian Re-Organization Act
  • Polina Dessiatnitchenko: Why is sound central to religious ritual? performing a disruption of time in Ojibway shamanistic seances
  • Mary Douglas: Witch hunts and modern wars in Africa
  • Susan Drucker-Brown: Witchcraft and Hubris in Ghana
  • Alice Elliott: Cosmologies of migration from a Moroccan village
  • Rebecca Empson: Making mobility: separation and containment in northeast Mongolia
  • Janne Flora: Loneliness, suicide and reincarnation in Greenland
  • Janne Flora: Qivittoq: Encounters with the undead in the Greenland wilderness
  • Johanna Gonçalves: Pathway metaphors in Yanomami medical thought
  • Leila Gordon, with Janne Flora and Olga Ulturgasheva: Round table on young people's suicide in the UK, Greenland and Siberia: different causes, different senses of family, destiny and personhood? (Leila Gordon is a psychoanalytical psychotherapist specialising in adolescent suicide prevention)
  • Vanessa Grotti: Individual relationships: Trio and missionary perspectives on the sociality of conversion in northeastern Amazonia
  • Yarjung Gurung: Using anthropology and archaeology to retrace my trance soul-flight on the ground: would I find my land of the dead if I went to Tibet or Mongolia? (Yarjung Gurung is a shaman from the Annapurna region of Nepal)
  • Hannelore Hägele: Clothed with splendour and majesty: Light and colour in religious statuary
  • Guy Hayward: Chanting and its purpose
  • Jan Hennings: The Honour of Peter the Great and the 'Defect of the British Constitutions'
  • Paolo Heywood: Towards a Topography of Love: Discursive Chronotopes of the Russian "Mail-Order Bride" Industry
  • Holly High: Fear, Desire and the State in Laos
  • Mette High: Mongolian ideas about excessive drinking
  • Martin Holbraad: What is truth? Problems of divination and anthropology in Cuba
  • Martin Holbraad: Revolución o muerte: Self-sacrifice and the ontology of Cuban revolution
  • Yang Honglin: From Nuosu Animistic Religion to Native Anthropological Exegesis (Facilitated by Katherine Swancutt)
  • Jens Ivar-Nergård: Ghosts and Psychiatrists in Sapmi
  • Rev Tim Jenkins: The Anthropology of Christianity: situation and critique
  • Rev Tim Jenkins: Grimm's tale 'The Queen Bee' - an investigation of the problem of magic
  • Rev Tim Jenkins: Flying saucers over Chicago: parallel languages of sociology and evangelical Christianity
  • Prudence Jones: The Triple Universe: Mesopotamian stratification and the Graeco-Roman Moon Goddess
  • Prudence Jones: The Path, daughter of the great gods: possible Near Eastern influences on the Greek goddess Hekate in the Archaic age
  • Bruce Kapferer: Sinhalese exorcism and Kubrick's 2001: 'A Space Odyssey'
  • Chris Kaplonski: Forgetting the lamas: the politicization of death in post-socialist Mongolia
  • Adeel Khan: Humour in the Islamic University classroom
  • Lena Khlinovskaya-Rockhill: State-induced migration to the Russian North: identity, homeland and imagination
  • Riamsara Kuyakanon Knapp: On the Observance of a Mountain-Closure Ritual in Bhutan
  • Tania Kossberg: Mental Health in the Norwegian Arctic
  • Katya Krausová (Portobello Media, London): Traces of Cultural Memory of the Jewish Community of Slovakia
  • Evelyn Landerer: Walking with Reindeer: new experiences of place and movement
  • Alexandra Lavrillier: 'Spirit charged' humans and animals among the Evenki of southeastern Siberia
  • Linda Layne: How dead babies continue to participate in family life
  • Galina Lindquist: Neo-shamanism in Russia and Sweden
  • Jialing Luo: Hutong: a Disappearing Historical Neighbourhood in central Beijing
  • Rebecca Lynch: Spirits and spiritual encounters on Trinidad's northeast coast
  • Robert MacFarland: Becoming One with the Universe and Walking the Harmonious Path
  • Jonathan Mair: Buddhism beyond good and evil: Morality and the ethics of self-cultivation in Inner Mongolian Buddhism
  • Jonathan Mair: Süjüg: faith in Inner Mongolian Buddhism
  • Emilie Maj: Mammoths and the government in Yakutia
  • Mireille Mazard: Ghosts of Ritual on China's Tibeto-Burman Frontier
  • Shane McCorristine: Spirits of Place in Arctic Exploration, 1818-45
  • Nick Megoran: Representations of Central Asia in film
  • Nick Megoran: Middle East Apology Tours: Evangelical Christians and the First Crusade of 1096-99
  • Carlos Mondragon: Ovens and persons in Vanuatu
  • Carlos Mondragon & Johannes Neurath: Shifting Ontologies: Rethinking transformation and reciprocity in Mesoamerica and Melanesia
  • Andrew Moutu: Returning to the origin in the time of Naven (Papua New Guinea)
  • Chloe Nahum-Claudel: Mutually predatory relationships between spirits, fish and humans among the Enawene of Brasil
  • Chloe Nahum-Claudel: Today we are like teenage girls: all-male seclusion at the heart of an Amerindian cosmogonic process
  • Vladimir Orlov: Metaphysics of death in the music of Russian Symbolism
  • Irene Peano: Property and people: some reflections on human trafficking
  • Eleanor Peers: Pop, Poetry and the Gods: Landscape, Beauty and Spirituality in Sakha community life
  • Anthony Pickles: How do Highland Papua New Guineans Relate to Slot-Machines?
  • Catherine Pickstock: Christian liturgy and the senses
  • Anastasia Piliavsky: Adjudication without dispute resolution among thieves in Western India
  • Anastasia Piliavsky: The Morals of Visibility and the 'Public Sphere' in Northern India
  • Monosi Raika (Sora elder, Tribal India): How I led my people into Christianity sixty years ago and now have mixed feelings
  • Rev Marcus Ramshaw: Devising a eucharist for young Goths
  • Madeleine Reeves: Clean fake: authenticity and contingency in migrant Moscow
  • Madeleine Reeves: Military violence and stately im-personation in Kyrgyzstan
  • Madeleine Reeves: Mourning, violence and political community in Kyrgyzstan
  • Hugo Reinert: Bio-power and necro-availability: the slaughterhouse as sacrificial altar in north Norway
  • Susanna Rostas: Conchas, Candles and Flowers in the Creation of the Concheros' Religiosity
  • Luís Guilherme Resende de Assis: Brasilian Antarctic scientists and their cosmologies
  • István Sántha & Tanya Safonova: Stories about Evenki people and their dogs: communication through sharing of contexts
  • István Sántha & Tatiana Safonova: Unaccountability among Evenki of East Siberia
  • Rupert Sheldrake: Recent Research on Telepathy
  • Sarah Shneiderman: Himalayan Origin Myths and Myths of Originality: Thangmi Gurus, Activists and the Power of Orality
  • Janet Soskice: The un-namability of God
  • Richard Spaul (In Situ theatre company): Seven archetypes for becoming a different person
  • Florian Stammler: An environmental anthropologist discovers spirits in Siberia
  • Katie Swancutt: Magical efficacy, fortune and time in two contrasting Mongolian villages
  • Katie Swancutt: How shamans and indigenous scholars reinvent animism
  • Diane Thompson: The Memory of Sacred Places in Dostoevsky' s 'Brothers Karamazov'
  • Dr Thomas Thornton: Environmental Change and Marinescapes: A Tlingit Perspective
  • Mark Turin: Mother Tongues and Language Competence: The shifting politics of linguistic belonging in the Himalayas
  • Olga Ulturgasheva: The patient reindeer as trope for human: how a child learns to be a person
  • Olga Ulturgasheva: Ontological clash of afterlives: Why Siberian Natives can't engage with the ghosts of Russian Gulag prisoners
  • Olga Ulturgasheva and Shane McCorristine (Conveners): Ghosts and Apparitions in the Field. With Contributions by: Donatas Brandiskaukas (Kaunas), marc Brightman (Oxford), Gilly Carr (Archaeology), Vanessa Grotti (Oxford), Ivan Peshkov (Poznan), Katherine Swancutt (Oxford), Piers Vitebsky (SPRI), Kostas Zorbas (Democritus University of Thrace / SPRI)
  • Minna Opas: Christianity and epistemological uncertainty in the Peruvian Amazon
  • Nikolai Vakhtin & Stephen Pax Leonard: Languages and Forms of Expression in the Arctic: urgent issues of endangerment
  • Laur Vallikivi: The silence of the reindeer and the conversion narrative of the Baptists
  • Aparecida Vilaça: Perspectivism: human and animal souls in Brasil
  • Aparecida Vilaça: Eating the dead: funerary cannibalism among the Warí (with film)
  • Piers Vitebsky: Repeated Returns and Special Friends:from mythic first encounter to endless historical change
  • Piers Vitebsky: Dreams of love and death
  • Piers Vitebsky: Dancing with alphabet worshippers
  • Rev Fraser Watts: Levels of Religious Meaning: Applying 'Interacting Cognitive Subsystems' to Religion
  • Joe Webster: The immanence of transcendence: God and the Devil on the Aberdeenshire coast
  • Rane Willerslev: God on trial: thoughts on sacrifice
  • Lee Wilson: The Anthropology of the Possible: the Ethnographer as Sceptical Enquirer
  • Xiaoxiao Yan: The internet in China: an anthropological approach
  • Michael Yorke: Eunuchs: India's third gender
  • Michael Yorke: Divine nudity
  • Astrid Zimmermann: Eating money in Mongolia
  • Kostas Zorbas: Post-socialist unhappiness and an epidemic of cursing in Tuva
  • Kostas Zorbas: Resorting to sorcery: filling in for the failure of judicial redress in Tuva
  • Paul Connerton: How we suppress the fact of death
  • Marilena Frisone: A Japanese new religious movement in Kathmandu
  • Marlene Schafers: Kurdish female bards and the Van earthquake of 2011