News from the Magickal Women Conference

Call for Papers 2020

The Magickal Women Conference is a celebration of women in all streams of magic, past and present. It provides an opportunity to explore the female perspective on the occult, esotericism, witchcraft and magic; to this end we offer an all-female roster (female by birth or not) of speakers.

Following our highly successful international gathering in 2019, we return to South Kensington, London SW7 on 6th June 2020 for the second Magickal Women Conference and we now invite speaker proposals for this event. There will be fewer, but longer, speaker sessions in 2020.

The deadline for all proposals: 11:59pm Wednesday 31 July 2019.

Intending speakers are asked to pay particular attention to the format/style of submissions please, as we are unable to accept proposals which do not meet the criteria, due to time and resource constraints.

Our focus for 2020 is Isis-Babalon-Erzulie-Hekate. We want to explore and interrogate women’s relationship with these and other powerful expressions of Divine femininity from a diverse range of traditions and perspectives, expressed through literature, art and practice.

We are interested in proposals that interrogate magic(k)al and folkloric traditions with a female focus or application: practices which challenge traditional social structures and expectations using a magical/craft framework; introductions to a particular tradition, group, lodge or sorority, particularly from an insider (emic) perspective; the experiences of the lone female practitioner, sybil or spirit worker, the ‘goes’ from ancient European tradition, the hedge witch, Obeah woman, cunning woman, root worker; talks based on discussions of fiction, historical source texts, un/published diary material, personal papers, films and artworks.

This year we welcome proposals for talks and also encourage proposals for experiential, immersive and interactive sessions in a workshop or seminar format. Please note that these are not extended talks or lectures, but sessions that result in sharing of knowledge and insight so that participants can take away annotated texts, artefacts, an understanding of a practice and its application, or partake of an experience. We want people to gain value from these sessions through learning and/or artefacts that may be applied/used at home either at once or as an enriching part of a longer period of study/ritual practice.

Talks

 Proposals for talks must be for no more than [40] minutes in total - each  will be allocated a 40-minute slot, which can allow for a talk plus Q&A or a talk only, with no Q&A. Talks cannot overrun due to time constraints, so please plan and time your paper/presentation accordingly. A talk provides for the speaker to devote sustained time to developing their argument, analysis, presentation of research findings or other aspects of their work and interests. We anticipate that most proposals will be in this format.

Seminars

These may involve group discussion of selected texts, fiction, liturgy, ritual or perhaps creating/ co-creating a ritual or a dramatic reading. Discussion of historic artefacts, or artworks, films, maps of territory/sacred lands or places which have a special or unique focus on women’s experience or traditions. Aspects of astrology and divination in history and women’s contemporary practice. Seminars at Conference are sessions which benefit from an extended focus of up to 55 minutes/1 hour, but within a practical learning structure in which active participation and exchange is expected and enabled by the seminar leader.

 Studio/ Workshop

 These are sessions with a practical focus, involving an element of ‘making and doing’ or performance which requires some element of active participation. Attendees should gain an understanding of the work or tradition through actual performance or engagement with materials or creative activity. Activities may include e.g. the construction of ritual talismans, icons, sacred art, artworks inspired by folkloric traditions, formulating ritual incense or oils, elements of dance and performance. Within the 55 minute/1 hour structure of the workshop setting there is scope to offer an introduction to a transformational/ritual practice or rite which may be a part of a tradition or school, or more widely known within occultism but with particular relevance to or expression of women’s experience.

Submitting Proposals: Requirements

The deadline for all proposals: 11:59pm Wednesday 31 July 2019.

1. All proposals should be 250- 500 words in length, with sufficient detail to provide the conference directors with an understanding of the topic and how it will be structured in presentation.

2. Seminars and Studio/Workshops proposals - special notes

Proposals must specify the session aims, methods and materials and an outcome identified for the participants ( eg, ‘after this workshop participants will know how to construct and use a talisman which they will take home,’ ‘participants in this seminar will gain insight into this particular tradition through discussion of the supplied text and a short dramatised reading of the ritual.’)

Numbers in workshops and seminars are determined by room capacity (fire limit) and layout, typically 18-20 maximum and we pre-allocate seats according to demand: please do not propose a session which is only suitable for very small groups. Please consider room layouts and space configuration in your proposal.

 4. When writing your proposal, please use 12-point sans serif font and double spacing; number and identify each page of your submission. This is essential for the better consideration of your expert proposal.

 5. Please indicate what equipment you will need for your presentation (projector/screen etc). Please note that all presentations must be in Power Point - we may supply a template.

Please note that all materials, texts, special equipment necessary to workshops/seminars are the responsibility of the speaker: we will supply access to laptop and projector only. Speakers who wish to bring their own laptops/Macs may do so, please confirm if this is your intention.

6. Please provide a maximum 250- word personal biography and advise where examples of your work may be seen (if appropriate), eg websites, blogs, past performances, exhibition catalogues.

7. Please email your proposals to cfp@magickalwomenconference.com

The deadline for all proposals: 11:59pm Wednesday 31 July 2019.

8. Any questions or clarifications before deadline date should be sent to the same address.

9. Please provide your contact details.

10. The conference audience will comprise academics, expert magical practitioners and the general public and your proposals should recognise this. We are inclusive, welcoming to all and aim to generate debate across scholarly/magical/lay boundaries.

Thank you for supplying all information and in the style requested: a concise and informative description of your proposal helps us greatly in promoting the programme to ensure a good audience for your work.