Magic and Enchantment in Post-Communist Europe
The anthropological literature dealing with problems of “transition” out of socialism has shed little light on the accelerating revitalization of “magical practices,”occurring throughout all the former socialist orders in Europe. This is in part because there is little consensus today within Anthropology about the meaning, significance or “functions” of “magical practices. One result of this is that the topic is often deleted from (left out of) most accounts of life today in almost all these nation-states. As in the past then the topic of magic has largely been left to the region’s folklorists and ethnologists. This has particularly been the case for example in Romania where little attention has been paid to the increasingly“normalization” of traditional belief like magic that has occurred since the 1989 Revolution.
It may well be that increases in “magical practices” point to a growing “disenchantment” with all modernist discourses and a concomitant “re-enchantment” of locally defined and positioned identities, cultures and practices. al practices” point to a growing “disenchantment” with all modernist discourses and a concomitant “re-enchantment” of locally defined and positioned identities, cultures and practices. At the same time, this increase in “magical practices” may point to further “universal” commodification (or reinvention) of cultural beliefs and practices that serve elite agendas like “cultural tourism.” This session is seen as an opportunity for scholars interested in magic throughout Eastern Europe and the Baltics to share experiences, create debate and to collaborate.
Please contact the organizer, James Nyce, at .