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Aleister Crowley, the Thelemic Tradition, and the Creative Arts
Call for Papers for a special panel at
8th International ESSWE Conference:
Esotericism, Art and Creativity
5-7 July, 2021, University College Cork, Ireland
Recent years have witnessed an increase of scholarly interest in the British occultist Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), his religion Thelema, and its relationship with various genres of the creative arts. In addition to Crowley’s vast production of magical and mystical texts, he made contributions to several genres of the arts, including fiction, poetry, painting, and drama. Previous research has highlighted, among other areas, the influence of Decadence and weird fiction on Crowley’s literary and lyrical production; his indebtedness to the compositions of Richard Wagner and the art of Paul Gauguin; and his collaboration with the artist Frieda Harris in the production of his Thoth Tarot. Moreover, existing scholarship has indicated Crowley’s influence on a number of prominent writers and artists, such as Fernando Pessoa, Xul Solar, and Kenneth Anger, as well as the reception of Crowley and Thelema in later popular culture. This panel takes as its starting point the multifaceted relationship between Crowley and the arts, seeking to further the discussion around two main areas. Firstly, the panel will consider Crowley himself not simply as an occultist who happened to dabble in fiction, poetry, painting, or theatre, but instead take seriously the reciprocal relationship between Crowley’s occultism and artistic pursuits, examining how these mutually informed and furthered each other. Secondly, the panel will consider Crowley’s broader influence on various genres of the arts before and after his death, seeking to deepen the understanding of his lasting significance in popular (oc)culture.
Paper proposals must include basic information about the author (title, institutional affiliation/independent scholar), a paper title and an abstract of no more than 300 words and 3-5 keywords about the proposed presentation.
Deadline for submission is October 1, 2020.
Proposals should be sent to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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