The New Generation Witches : Teenage Witchcraft in Contemporary Culture book cover
1st Edition

The New Generation Witches
Teenage Witchcraft in Contemporary Culture

ISBN 9781138278257
Published January 27, 2017 by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

From the shelves of mainstream bookstores and the pages of teen magazines, to popular films and television series, contemporary culture at the turn of the twenty-first century has been fascinated with teenage identity and the presence of magic and the occult. Alongside this profusion of products and representations, a global network of teenage Witches has emerged on the margins of adult neopagan Witchcraft communities, identifying themselves through various spiritual practices, consumption patterns and lifestyle choices. The New Generation Witches is the first published anthology to investigate the recent rise of the teenage Witchcraft phenomenon in both Britain and North America. Scholars from Theology, Cultural Studies, Sociology, History and Media Studies, along with neopagan commentators outside of the academy, come together to investigate the experiences of thousands of adolescents constructing an enabling, magical identity through a distinctive practice of Witchcraft. The contributors discuss key areas of interest, inspiration and development within the teen Witch communities from the mid 1990s onward, including teenage Witches' magical practices and beliefs, gender politics, the formation and identification of communities, forums and modes of expression, media representation and new media outlets. Demonstrating the diversification and expansion of neopaganism in the twenty-first century, this anthology makes an exciting contribution to the field of Neopagan Studies and contemporary youth cultures.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Ronald Hutton; Introduction, Peg Aloi and Hannah E. Johnston. Part 1 Histories and Reflections of Contemporary Teenage Witchcraft: The pagan explosion: an overview of select census and survey data, James R. Lewis; The perennial teen witch: a discussion of teenage interest in modern pagan witchcraft, Melissa Harrington; Becoming a witch: changing paths of conversion in contemporary witchcraft, Douglas Ezzy and Helen A. Berger; The discovery of witchcraft: an exploration of the changing face of witchcraft through contemporary interview and personal reflection, Julian Vayne; Minor arcana and the inclusion of adolescent psycho-spirituality within the British pagan community, Matthew Hannam. Part 2 Teenage Voices: Accounts from the Field: Becoming a witch: my story, Heather Jenkins; Oreos, Orishas and others: a personal account of being a teenage witch, Morboriel Parthenos. Part 3 Texts, Influences and Practices: Vanquishing the victim: discourses of dis/empowerment in 1990s teenage witchcraft, Hannah E. Johnston; A charming spell: the intentional and unintentional influence of popular media upon teenage witchcraft in America, Peg Aloi; Teen witchcraft and Silver RavenWolf: the internet and its impact on community opinion, Stephanie Martin; Wise young women: beliefs, values and influences in the adoption of witchcraft by teenage girls in England, Denise Cush; Index.

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Hannah E. Johnston (née Sanders) Ph.D. facilitated the UK's first teenage Witchcraft research and networking site, Her doctoral thesis investigated the rise of contemporary teenage Witchcraft in the UK. She is currently Adjunct Professor in Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, USA, where she teaches contemporary television studies and cultural theory. Peg Aloi is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, USA, and also teaches film studies at the Massachusetts College of Art. She is the Media Coordinator of The Witches' Voice, Inc., and a film critic for The Boston Phoenix. Her research in Paganism Studies connects many disciplines, including literature, cinema, popular culture and Celtic Studies. She is an award-winning poet and amateur filmmaker. Hannah and Peg are currently working on several book projects, including a collection of essays on HBO's television series Carnivàle, and a book on cinema and the occult.


'The New Generation Witches is the first book devoted exclusively to the topic, and the collection includes not just academic studies of teen Neo-Pagan practices but also the voices of young Neo-Pagans themselves. [...] this book constitutes a much-needed study of teen Neo-Paganism and is a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion of young people’s spirituality.' Jeunesse