Happy Holidays, all! I come bearing exciting news. This February, I will be attending and presenting at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association 41st Annual Conference, and I couldn’t be more excited.
On February 21st, I will be on a panel in the Esotericism and Occultism area entitled “Esotericism, Magic, and Occultism on Television,” where I will be presenting my paper “Charting the ‘Third Way’: Feminist Reimaginations of Patriarchal Religious Structures in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” In this paper, I argue that the Satanic Church of Night in the series acts as a dark double for the actual Catholic Church, pointing to its flaws, particularly in its treatment of women. Working off of Per Faxneld’s book Satanic Feminism, I also examine how the show engages in counter-mythology, focusing on the dynamic character of Lilith. Ultimately, I argue that the series illuminates a “third way” (an allusion to Sabrina’s declaration in the second episode of the series, in which she rejects “the path of light” (Catholicism) and “the path of night” (Satanism)) of being in which women reimagine the religious structures around them to account for female power, and even reconsider the religious figure they worship.
I also have the honor of participating in two roundtables the following day. First, I will be participating in a roundtable titled “Stranger Than Angels: Esoteric, Magical, and Occult Worldviews in the New Golden Age of Television.” Later, I will be moderating another roundtable, this one called “Doctored Paradigms Stranger Than Truth? The Infinite Magical Marvels of the Superhero Genre, or, Should We Learn to Stop Worrying and Love SHAZAM?” Both sessions promise to be exciting and engaging discussions about the current state of popular entertainment and its investments in esotericism and occultism.