The Societas Magica (a scholarly society you should know about if you’re into the academic study of magic, esotericism, and related stuff) has been running a great and informative newsletter for many years. In fact, since the society was founded by Richard Kieckhefer and others back in 1995 (check out the back-issues here). In addition to informing about conferences and publications, it usually comes with a slightly longer essay. The 2013 Spring issue that has just been released runs a nice article by Laura Mitchell on academic blogging in the field of esotericism and magic. I was of course pleased to see the nice discussion of Heterodoxology there, but more importantly it is excellent that a scholarly society brings the question of blogs to the full attention of its membership. Mitchell discusses some of the advantages and possibilities of research blogging, and classifies different types based on how they are run and what sort of material they include (individual, group-blogs; research, personal experiences, academic life etc.). The blogs mentioned in the essay should all be familiar to readers of Heterodoxology: Invocatio, the Religious Studies Project, Whewell’s Ghost, the Hermetic Library, and the Ritman Library Blog are all old friends and virtual neighbours.
Somehow it is also a bit amusing that the virtues and potentials of these blogs are being discussed in the old medium of a newsletter – one that is digitized and distributed by hyperlink in addition to paper. One gets the feeling of standing somewhat hesitantly in between different forms of media. Thus another great piece of news in this issue is Claire Fanger’s announcement that the Societas Magica is about to launch a new blog of its own. Damon Lycourinos at the University of Edinburgh is going to take the first shift at running it. It’s something to look forward to (I previously commented on an esoterica blogpost of his here). It promises to be a valuable addition to the slowly growing number of academic blogs in this area.
Thanks to Sarah for bringing this to my attention.