Courses: Magic and Metaphysics (WRPRH121B01)

Spring 2013

Can we believe in magic? Is it a betrayal of reason, science, and progress to take the supernatural seriously? If ours is a thoroughly disenchanted world, in which technology works whether we want it to or not, how can we explain our cultural obsession with entities that are there only if we believe in them--that is to say, with vampires and werewolves, zombies and wizards, fairies, elves, and a certain boy named Harry? In this course, we will embark on an investigation into the rich history and contemporary proliferation of debates surrounding the possibility and promise of the supernatural. Drawing on works of anthropology, esotericism, philosophy, literature, film, and other media, we will explore some of the more prominent strains of magical belief and practice, as well as some of the metaphysical perspectives that tend either to support or defy the world of magic.

Prerequisites: Open only to first-year students as assigned by the Director of College Writing.

Fulfills: HU FW Limit:15


Writing Program (Web site)

Taught By

Joshua Ramey (Profile)


Haverford, Gest 102

Meeting Times

TTh 11:30-1:00