Wednesday, 9 April 2014

New Publication: "Devil's Stones and Midnight Rites: Megaliths, Folklore, and Contemporary Pagan Witchcraft" in Folklore 125(1)

I am very pleased to announce that the publishing company Taylor and Francis have just uploaded a copy of my latest published paper over at their website, where it is now available for download. The paper itself appears in the latest volume of peer-reviewed academic journal Folklore, the U.K.'s foremost outlet in the field of folkloristics and the thrice-a-year publication of the prestigious Folklore Society. Although this is my fourth published research paper, Folklore is certainly the biggest "name" journal to publish any of my work, so (for me personally at least) it marks an exciting milestone in my academic trajectory.

Logo of the Folklore Society, publishers of Folklore.
The research paper in question is titled "Devil's Stones and Midnight Rites: Megaliths, Folklore, and Contemporary Pagan Witchcraft", and started life as a conference paper which I presented at the first "Popular Antiquities: Folklore and Archaeology" conference held at my alma mater, the UCL Institute of Archaeology, back in October 2011. I subsequently made some revisions to the article, and sent it off to Folklore, where it was peer-reviewed by two very kind anonymous scholars (my thanks must go out to both of them, for the paper is certainly greatly improved as a result of their constructive comments). Thankfully for me, it was deemed worthy of publication and is now ready to be shared with the world. Due to copyright issues, unfortunately the paper cannot be offered for free, but in lieu of that, I include the (unusually short) abstract here: 
During the middle years of the twentieth century, British pioneers of Wicca, the neopagan witchcraft religion, adopted prehistoric megaliths as ‘sacred sites’ and appropriated the folklore that surrounded them for their own magico-religious purposes. In turn, Wiccan interpretations of such sites resulted in the creation of a new ‘alternative archaeological’ megalithic folklore. 

For me the paper has been a way of exploring the areas where many of my research interests intersect and merge. Not only does it deal with archaeology in that it is looking at megalithic monuments, but it also explores the field of folklore, as well as that of religious studies, in particular the study of contemporary Paganism(s). These are all areas where I am actively continuing my research, so if all goes to plan I shall be publishing on the Pagan use of archaeology and folklore again in future.

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