Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Brookes lecturer develops innovative interactive online resource to explore local and regional knowledge of witchcraft and magic.

Wednesday, 01 March 2017

Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

With the support of Oxford Brookes Central Research Fund, Oxford Brookes' Reader in Romantic & Nineteenth-Century Literature, Dr Simon White, has developed an innovative Historypin Special Collection called Mapping Magic. The project covers the whole of Great Britain through an interactive map, and aims to generate interest in the subject of Simon’s forthcoming book outside academia.

Mapping Magic facilitates the sharing of glimpses of the past in a forum “where everyone has the chance to see it, add to it, learn from it, debate it and use it to build up a more complete understanding of the world.” Mapping Magic allows for anyone to go online and ‘pin’ a snippet of text, historical photo, video, audio recording or personal recollection to an interactive map.

Regional launch events are planned for Mapping Magic in Selkirk, Scotland, in partnership with Selkirk Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme; in Haworth, West Yorkshire in partnership with the Bronte Parsonage Museum; and in Shrewsbury, in partnership with Discovering Shropshire’s History.

Simon’s forthcoming book Witchcraft and Magic in Regional Fiction 1818-1926 (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2019), begins in the Romantic period with James Hogg’s short stories set in the Scottish Borders and ends in the 1920’s with Mary Webb’s Shropshire novels. The book has provided some material for pins, but Mapping Magic “is less about academic rigour, and more about engaging with the general public.”

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