Centre For Pagan Studies

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Dr. Shai Feraro “British Occult and New Age Spirituality Bookshops (from the founding of Watkins Books to the Rise of the Internet).”

Recording of the talk

profile photo of Dr Shai Feraro Speaker at the Centre For Pagan Studies
Speaker: Dr Shai Feraro

Date: 25th October 2020 at 19:30 UK time

Topic: In this talk Dr. Shai Feraro will share with you some exploratory notes from his upcoming research project, which will examine the cultural and intellectual history of occult and New Age spirituality bookshops in the UK, and he will illuminate their function as hubs and spaces for the transference of knowledge and information within these respective milieus, c. 1893 – c.1993.
Its time frame will be dictated by the founding of Watkins, the first British bookshop to dedicate itself specifically to occult literature and one of the oldest such establishments in the anglophone world, and by the rise of the Internet, which has since replaced bookshops as the chief space for the exchange of relevant knowledge. Dr. Feraro will aim to show how these literary establishments were simultaneously dependent on and cultivated a large array of networks concerned with ‘rejected knowledge’, and the project will thus contribute to the history of British occultism and New Age spiritualities as key elements in the late modern history of alternative religiosity.
Speakers Bio: Dr. Shai Feraro is a research fellow at Tel Hai College, and serves as Secretary of the Israeli Association for the Study of Religions. He is the author of Women and Gender Issues in British Paganism, 1945-1990 (2020), and has co-edited Contemporary Alternative Spiritualities in Israel (2016) and Magic and Witchery in the Modern West (2019), all published by Palgrave Macmillan.

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