Call for papers 2023

Call for Papers

MARTOR 28/2023

Witchcraft, Magic, Divination and the Twenty-first Century

Guest Editors:

Dr. Tünde Komáromi, Associate Professor, Institute of Social and Communication Studies, Károli Gáspár University, Budapest, Hungary.  

Dr. Ileana Benga, Senior Researcher, Folklore Archive Institute of the Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. 

Dr. Bogdan Neagota, Head of Department, Lecturer, Department for Classical Literatures and Languages, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. 

Deadline for abstract submissions: 1st of November 2021.

Publication date: November 2023

The Museum of the Romanian Peasant is seeking contributions for its annual journal MARTOR 28/2023, on the topic of “Witchcraft, Magic, Divination and the Twenty-first Century.” MARTOR is a peer-reviewed academic journal, established in 1996, indexed by EBSCO, Index Copernicus, CEEOL, AIO, MLA International Bibliography, with a focus on cultural and visual anthropology, ethnology and museology.

Magic, witchcraft, and divination have been intensely exploited fields throughout the history of anthropological thought. What could, therefore, be the relevance of raising the same argument again, based on researches made at the beginning of the twenty-first century? 

One possible answer is that no other field could connect better postmodernity to the past and present of “traditional” societies; another possible answer is that the practices magic and witchcraft give voice to represent fine recorders for social change within contemporary societies. 

Aware of these processes, our collection of studies aims to portray specific problems, such as: What are human relations like where an accusation of witchcraft is implied? What is their lifespan, given that nowadays rarely (or never?) do such accusations pass the judicial threshold? Which are the contexts requiring magic intervention, be it in the form of witchcraft or divination? What precisely is magic adding compared to religion to the relationship with the transcendental?  In whose power lies the transfer of blessing versus the transfer of ill-will, who are the magic, witchcraft, and divination technicians in the new contexts generated by heavy migration, its already deep consequences, and globalization? Which are the locally issued specificities of the aim, the width, and the aftermath of magical practices?  

Why do certain magic, witchcraft and divination practices resurge in some areas but not in others? Is there any continuity with a local tradition behind the success of shamans, clairvoyants, witches, or other practitioners? What do they have in common and which are the differences between all these varieties of practitioners and their respective activities? How does their activity reflect on local cultural and social characteristics? How are their services and methods mirroring a globalized spread of knowledge and what do we know about the role of face-to-face interaction or the Internet in the processes of initiation, learning, or contacting the clients? How can we explain the popularity of networks and groups, such as Wicca, in certain countries and their lack of popularity elsewhere? 

We intend to invite in the volume a number of field specialists, covering a broad geographical area and a wide historical spectrum. In the case of ethnographic studies, we invite contributors to ponder actively on the manner in which they collected their field material. Methods of anonymization of the field data will be duly considered. 


Please follow the guidelines for authors of the Martor journal:

Martor is a journal where authors are encouraged to publish experimental ethnographic research and accompany their text with high standard visual material, thus, all contributors are encouraged to use ample images to accompany their texts.

We invite contributors to send an abstract (300 words) by Monday 1st of November 2021. The selected articles will need to be submitted by Monday 1st of November 2022. Submissions will be either in English, or French.

Proposals, manuscripts, and other editorial correspondence should be sent to the following e-mail: